11 Aug 11 ATO warning on "sorry payment" and "Oprah Winfrey payment" refund scams
In media release No 2011/44, issued 10 August 2011, the Commissioner, Michael D'Ascenzo, warned communities in Western Australia about a scam doing the rounds and encouraged victims of the scam to make contact with the ATO.
"We are seeing the scam appearing mainly in Indigenous Communities, with victims told they will receive a 'sorry payment from Kevin Rudd' or 'money from Oprah Winfrey' in exchange for providing a payment of up to $800 and their personal details," Mr D'Ascenzo said.
"The scam promoters, who sometimes have claimed to work for the ATO, use these details to lodge a fraudulent Education Tax Refund application (a tax refund reserved generally for school related expenses) in the victim's name."
The victim may then be issued with a refund cheque by the ATO. However, the refund is illegal and any money issued will have to be paid back.