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ATO issues warning over new gift card scam

  • August 26 2021
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ATO issues warning over new gift card scam

By Cameron Micallef
August 26 2021

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning victims of a new phone scam, where scammers are pretending to be the tax man and demanding payments for unpaid tax liabilities.

ATO issues warning over new gift card scam

ATO issues warning over new gift card scam

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  • August 26 2021
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The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning victims of a new phone scam, where scammers are pretending to be the tax man and demanding payments for unpaid tax liabilities.

ATO issues warning over new gift card scam

The ATO issued the warning that scammers are trying to trick people by pretending to be either the tax office or the federal police, telling victims their tax file number has been suspended or compromised due to money laundering or other illegal activities.

As such, the cyber criminals are demanding money from Australians through a number of methods that should tip off potential victims, asking for payment in gift cards, cardless cash ATM withdrawals or courier services that collect payments.

The ATO highlighted that they would never demand payments in these ways, and urged tax payers to check legitimate ways to pay tax debt through their website.

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“If you have paid money to a scammer through one of the methods listed above or are concerned about your personal safety, report it to your local police straight away and specify all the details,” the ATO stated.

“We also strongly encourage you to contact your financial institution immediately. In some cases, they may be able to stop a transaction or close your account if the scammer has your account details.”

ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said the Tax Office was alarmed by the volume of scammers collecting money on Australian soil.

“Scammers are always on the hunt for new ways to con Australians out of their hard-earned cash,” he said.

“Impersonating ATO staff is one of many common tactics. Since July, Australians have paid $116,300 using cardless cash, local retail gift cards, and in-person cash in hand, including through couriers, to scammers pretending to be from the ATO.”

Mr Loh highlighted the extent to which victims are getting ripped off by scammers, with a NSW lady losing $30,000 to these scams.

“Another shocking account came from a Victorian man who paid $50,000 to a representative who collected the cash from their front door. The scammer demanded personal details such as their TFN, address and name over the phone before the home visit. The scammer also ‘guaranteed’ the victim would get their money back if they paid upfront.”

Mr Loh urged victims who come across scammers or who are concerned for their safety to report to the police.

 

ATO issues warning over new gift card scam
ATO issues warning over new gift card scam
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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