A call from the taxman would be enough to send shivers up most peoples’ spines.
But these calls are even worse – they’re from scammers pretending to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and they’re trying to trick you into giving them money or personal details.
The ATO warned on Thursday of the new scam, which could come in the form of an email, fax, text message or phone call, from someone faking the identity of an ATO officer.
The ATO cautioned people against giving any information in response to such a request, because the scammers could use it to access bank accounts, take out loans, lodge false tax returns or claim Centrelink or other benefits in your name.
The tax department said it would never threaten anyone with immediate arrest, ask a person to pay money in order to receive a refund, ask for your tax file number or credit card details by email or text message, tell you to download files or open attachments via email or ask anyone to pay a debt via iTunes vouchers or pre-paid store or gift cards.
“Do not click on any links, open attachments or respond to the sender,” the ATO said.