How Not To Be The Next Scam Victim
Scammers are stepping up their attacks on taxpayers by pretending to be Australian Taxation Office staff, but security specialists say you can still spot their sophisticated tricks and protect yourself from being the victim of a scam!
The Australian Taxation Office says that in the first six months of this year it received reports of almost 29,000 ATO impersonation scams.
Scammers will often demand payments for false debts, or offer false refunds if you give them your personal details.
How To Spot A Scammer
What The ATO Won’t Do:
- Be abusive or offensive to you
- Threaten you with immediate arrest
- Ask you to transfer money into an account with a BSB that is not 092009 or 093003
- Request payment via unusual methods such as iTunes gift cards or other prepaid cards
- Request personal security information such as your TFN or your bank details via email or SMS or social media sites
- Ask you for money up front in order to receive a refund or other payment
- Direct you to download files from the internet.
What The ATO Will Do:
- Provide you with a range of options for paying debts, which are all set out on The ATO’s website at ato.gov.au/howtopay
- Contact you by phone
- If you are in doubt about the authenticity of a call claiming to be from the ATO, you can call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to verify
- You will generally be aware of any debt before it is due for payment, but you can check through your myGov account, your tax agent or by calling the ATO
- Send emails and SMS asking you to take a specific action such as:
- Provide additional information required to process a BAS or tax return lodged
- Provide additional information required regarding an application that’s been made
- Verify changes to an account
- Send general notifications and reminders via SMS or email
- Send promotional and informational SMS and emails.
How You Can Report A Scam
Everyone can play a part in stopping scammers. If you suspect a scam or are unsure of the authenticity of a phone call, don’t disclose any personal information and furthermore report it by directly calling the ATO on 1800 008 540.
If you are a client of AS Partners and suspect a scam, you can contact our team of accountants who will be able to confirm with the ATO whether or not it is a scam.
By Eugene Klugman, B.Bus (Acc) & B.Bus (Bkg&Fin), CA