March 5, 2019

Increase in ATO & ASIC Scams

We have seen a recent increase in our clients receiving emails and phone calls from scammers claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office or Australian Securities & Investments Commission. See how you can avoid being caught by one of these scams.

Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

The most common scam in relation to the ASIC is registry customers being contacted by the scammers asking them to pay fees and give personal information to renew their business or company name. These emails often have a link that provides an invoice with fake payment details or infects your computer with malware if you click the link.

Warning signs the email is probably a scam and is not from ASIC if it asks you:

  • to make a payment over the phone.
  • to make a payment to receive a refund.
  • for your credit card or bank details directly by email or phone.

Click here to learn more about scams targeting ASIC customers.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

The ATO are seeing an increased number of reports of scammers contacting members of the public pretending to be from the ATO and claiming that there are outstanding tax debts and threatening people with arrest if the debt is not paid immediately.

They are seeing an evolution of this tactic where the scammers are using technology to make it look like the calls originate from a legitimate ATO phone number. While these scams may appear to be from the ATO with a spoofed caller ID, it is important to remember that a legitimate caller from the ATO will never:

  • threaten you with arrest.
  • demand immediate payment, particularly through unusual means such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards.
  • refuse to allow you to speak with a trusted advisor or your regular tax agent.
  • or present a phone number on caller ID.

Never call a scammer back on the number they provide. If in doubt, independently locate a contact number for the organisation referenced in the call or email.

To learn more about how you can verify or report a scam click here.

If you ever have any concerns or queries about an email or phone call you receive please do not hesitate to contact our office on 9387 5637.

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