Scam alert: One of the biggest telephone fraud schemes is back

It seems scammers haven’t taken a holiday – police are warning that they’re more cunning than ever right now. In
Australia

It seems scammers haven’t taken a holiday – police are warning that they’re more cunning than ever right now.

In a statement from the ACT Police, they have told Australians to be wary of a scam that can fleece them of thousands of dollars if they aren’t careful, and it might sound familiar.

Officers are investigating a “number of incidents” where people have been defrauded of amounts ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to a hundred thousand by scammers who are pretending to be from the ATO, reports the Canberra Times.

Criminal Investigations Manager Response Sergeant Marcus Boorman said many of the incidents involved a similar approach: “Often the call comes from what appears to be an Australian phone number and the person claims to be from the ATO. They say that the victim must repay a tax debt. They may also threaten arrest if the victims don’t pay up,” he said.

“They’ll often ask victims to pay by money transfer or provide their credit card details. It’s incredibly difficult to get your money back once you’ve been scammed”.

This scam echoes a huge scam that was doing the rounds last year just after tax time. The ATO issued a warning, as did ACCC’s ScamWatch however people were and are still being conned.

Sergeant Boorman said police hoped the public would spread the word to friends and families, especially to those that might be vulnerable to this type of scam – it can sound so legitimate that they might be fully convinced they’re talking to an ATO representative.

So what do you do if you receive a call or email from someone claiming to be from the ATO and that you are either entitled to or owe money? Simply hang up or delete the email without responding or opening.

And if you have any doubts about the authenticity of the call, even the ATO encourages you to ring them on 13 28 61.

Tell us, have you ever been the victim of a scam?

  1. They tried me left message on answering machine twice ask them to quote your tax file number and see what the result is or ask the to call your accountant as named on last tax return .The Tax office does not have your email or I think your phone number

  2. They tried me left message on answering machine twice ask them to quote your tax file number and see what the result is or ask the to call your accountant as named on last tax return .The Tax office does not have your email or I think your phone number

    • The ATO can get them, but they DO NOT initiate contact with you by phone. You will receive a letter in the post, bearing your Tax File Number.

  3. PLEASE JUST PHONE THE TAX OFFICE TO CONFIRM IT’S AUTHENTICITY, I can’t believe people are still being SCAMMED BY THIS.

  4. PLEASE JUST PHONE THE TAX OFFICE TO CONFIRM IT’S AUTHENTICITY, I can’t believe people are still being SCAMMED BY THIS.

  5. It’s very simple *for those that have caller ID* – if you don’t recognize a number don’t answer it – chances are it won’t go to voice mail. Then you simply block that number – easy peasy!

  6. It’s very simple *for those that have caller ID* – if you don’t recognize a number don’t answer it – chances are it won’t go to voice mail. Then you simply block that number – easy peasy!

    • I never answer a call that comes up unknown or a number I don’t know. If they really want me they will leave a message. I listen to the message and if I need to I call them back.

    • I get many calls on my mobile NOT my landline saying caller unknown I do answer as always it is a Doctor or a professional & they do this deliberately so you cant bother them on my landline for the scam calls I get Overseas Caller Telstra will never catch them as they move around in India especially

    • Margy Lee Walsh Same here, a lot of calls come up “unknown” even my home phone no: that is programmed into my phone comes up unknown

    • I’ve had this call a few times, they have left messages on my answer machine ..I can tell you – what they say is very scary.. So is their voice…

    • Don’t have caller ID in our area. Phone usually goes to message bank and if I’m not expecting a call from a number I might not recognise, I don’t return the call. My rule of thumb, if I don’t know the number, I don’t return the call – just delete.

    • Sue O’Keefe If I did that I would miss important calls generally from medical people but I can deal with the other lot no problem

  7. It’s simple – just don’t give out info over phone. Never call back on numbers they give you. Source phone number yourself.

  8. It’s simple – just don’t give out info over phone. Never call back on numbers they give you. Source phone number yourself.

  9. Beware this one; it is real. Ignore such calls. If in doubt do not act on this alone. Contact ATO or your tax agent.

  10. Beware this one; it is real. Ignore such calls. If in doubt do not act on this alone. Contact ATO or your tax agent.

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