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Australia: Tax scammers target last minute lodgers

Thursday, 04 September 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Australian Taxation Office
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Author: Australian Taxation Office

The ATO is warning the community to be aware of fraudsters as they target people lodging their income tax returns by the 31 October deadline.

New statistics reveal a 37 per cent spike in the number of scams reported to the ATO between September and October last year.

"Scammers are out to get taxpayers hurrying to lodge their return by the deadline,” said Chief Technology Officer Todd Heather. "People should be on the lookout for tax scams and report them to us directly.”

"This year we are seeing more targeted scams sent to taxpayers where the perpetrators make the email more convincing by using the latest ATO website imagery and the names and signatures of real ATO staff.

"People should also be aware of a nasty phone scam where taxpayers are threatened with arrest if they do not pay a fake tax debt over the phone.”

If people believe they have received a telephone, email or SMS scam they should contact the ATO on 1800 060 062 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday to Friday).

"When the public reports a scam to the ATO we work with our local and international partner agencies to shut down the scam website and pursue the scammers directly,” said Mr Heather.

From time-to-time the ATO will send emails, SMS messages or official social media updates advising of new services. The ATO’s messages will never request personal or financial information by SMS or email.

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