Scammers have used banks' cardless cash feature to trick victims, reports the ATO.
A total of 622 people have paid more than $2.1 million this year to scammers impersonating the Australian Taxation Office, the ATO reports.
Some scammers have used banks’ cardless cash service, which sends a code to withdraw cash from an ATM, according to the ATO. Scammers trick victims into reading the code to them.
Scammers are also using email and WhatsApp, says Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat.
“In October, we also saw a spike in email and SMS scams, often asking people to update their personal details. These scams usually contain links to fake online services to get personal information that enables scammers to steal your identity”, Foat says.
Scam activity typically ramps up when people expect to hear from the ATO, explains Foat.
“While some taxpayers will have tax payments due from November, the ATO will always let you know how much you owe and the due date when we send your notice of assessment.
If you’re unsure, you can check if you have a legitimate debt anytime by logging into your myGov account, or by contacting us or your tax agent,” she advised.
Victims lost about $2 million in the period between November 20218 and January 2019.
The ATO reminded the public that it will never (the following text is from the ATO):
- use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten you with immediate arrest, jail or deportation
- project our number onto your caller ID – so people can be sure that if there’s a number on their caller ID, it’s not the ATO calling
- request payment of a debt via cardless cash, iTunes or Google Play cards, pre-paid Visa cards, cryptocurrency, or direct credit to a personal bank account
- send an email or SMS requesting you click on a hyperlink to log on to government services.
And it reminded the public that it’s ok to hang up if they ever receive a call, email or SMS and aren’t sure if it’s legitimate. If unsure, you can phone the ATO’s scam line on 1800 008 540. The ATO also allows the public to report a scam at ato.gov.au/reportascam.