Be on your guard if you get a phone call, email or SMS from someone purporting to be from the ATO.
It's tax time again, and some of us are looking forward to a refund. But be on your guard if you get a phone call, email or SMS from someone purporting to be from the ATO.
The ATO and the ACCC are once again warning that "Scammers will go to great lengths to slip under your radar and steal your money, including impersonating ATO representatives on the phone, sending fraudulent emails and even creating bogus websites," as ACCC acting chair Delia Rickard warned.
While the ATO will sometimes send taxpayers emails, SMS messages or official social media updates alerting them to new services, it will never request personal or financial information by SMS or email.
In addition to divulging sensitive personal information to scammers, some people are falling for 'advance fee' scams where they are tricked into parting with an 'administration' or 'transfer' fee so that the supposed tax refund can be processed.
"$300,000 has been reported lost to all reclaim scams to the ACCC this year and we have received 6,000 complaints. Of these, 270 people reported the tax reclaim scam to the ACCC with over $10,000 lost," said Ms Rickard.
Sometimes scammers will use some piece of personal information that they've managed to obtain about their intended victim as a way of establishing their bona fides, so be on your guard.