There has been a recent increase in reports of scam emails, SMS and phone calls where criminals are trying to obtain personal information by posing as the ATO. The scams can be very convincing but we have put together some of the most common characteristics of a scam.
- Caller advises of a tax refund, business grant or unclaimed taxes available
- Caller wishes to discuss a scheme to reduce your tax for retirement.
- Caller is pushy to book an appointment to discuss your financial situation
- You are advised there is a warrant for your arrest due to unpaid tax
- Aggressive tone
- Caller asks for you to make a payment
- You are advised to make a payment before a refund can be issued.
- Not addressed to recipient by name
- Asks for personal and/or financial information
- Poorly worded and/or grammatical errors
- Promise of money to the recipient
- Contains attachments or fake links requesting the lodgement of a form. Opening these can lead to spyware or virus download.
Any SMS or email that requests additional information before a refund can be released is a hoax.
Any SMS or email that you receive that demands payment or advises that the ATO are taking legal action for the amount owed, without contacting you first, is a hoax.
If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a call or correspondence you have received from the ATO please contact our office on 08 9387 5637 for advice.