The ATO itself issued a warning about phone scammers late last month after reports that fraudsters were intimidating people into paying a fake tax debt.
The statement noted that the ATO does make calls to people about debt, but said it would never contact people in such an “aggressive and demanding way.” The release also added that “generally the ATO would send an SMS and/or letter to remind people that payment was due.”
If people receive a call from the ATO and are concerned about providing their personal information over the phone, they should ask for the caller’s name and phone them back through the ATO’s switchboard on 13 28 69. If people think they may have fallen victim to a phone scam, contact the ATO on 13 28 61 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday to Friday).
Police urge the community to spread the word about this scam – discuss it with friends and family, particularly those who may be less savy, as awareness can be the greatest weapon against these con artists.
It is important to remember that would-be scammers can operate in a variety of ways – via email, over the phone, through text messages or even in person.
For more information about scams please visit SCAMWatch.