Have you received a phone call from the ATO claiming you have a large tax debt??
Telephone scammers posing as Australian Taxation Office officers have sparked a warning FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIANS.
Police say they are investigating a number of frauds reported over the past month, in which people received calls claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
In the calls the person is told they owe the ATO a tax debt and threatened with arrest if he or she does not pay. These aggressive phone calls are designed to cause panic and fear in the person and place them in a vulnerable position. In some phone calls, the ‘ATO’ have claimed that if payment was not received within a matter of days, their house would be repossessed.
These phone calls occurred last year in the weeks leading up to ‘tax time’ but there has been a recent cluster due to a new opportunity to exploit.
How can you tell if contact from the ATO is fake?
- The ATO will never email you asking for personal or credit card details
- The caller will offer an unexpected refund, credit or grant
- You have never heard of any debts before
You can check on any communication that you aren’t sure about or can report a phone scam by calling the ATO hotline on 1800 008 540.
By Adrian Belperio