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Taxpayer hands over $3,500 as scam goes national

Scam

Investors should be on high alert for a sophisticated scam, with some Australians handing over up to $3,500 unknowingly after receiving a phone call purporting to be from the ATO.

The Tax Practitioners Board has warned of a new scam involving a fake telephone call impersonating the board. The TPB provides authorisation to tax professionals, like accountants. 

“We have been notified of a telephone scam using technology to impersonate a legitimate TPB telephone number,” said the TPB in a LinkedIn update.

“Please be aware that a legitimate TPB call will never ask for, or demand, credit card payment over the phone.”

Reports of tax scams have risen over the past few months, with the ATO recently issuing a high alert after more than $800,000 was reportedly lost in November alone.

The Tax Office has also had to contend with scammers impersonating registered tax agents, in a bid to lend credibility to the scam.

This week, Queensland Police issued a warning after a victim in Logan had purchased a total of $3,500 worth of gift vouchers in response to an ATO scam.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has advised taxpayers not to engage with such phone calls or emails.

“The Tax Office will never threaten you with arrest, or demand immediate payment of a tax debt or fine with unusual payment methods like gift cards or bitcoin,” said the ACCC.

“If you ever get a call or email claiming you will be arrested due to a tax debt, simply hang up the phone or delete the email. Do not call the number provided in the phone message or email you receive.”

Taxpayer hands over $3,500 as scam goes national
Scam
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