In media release No 2010/29 issued on 13 October 2010, the Commissioner, Michael D’Ascenzo, has warned the community to be aware of counterfeit ATO cheques supposedly issued by the ATO and drawn on the Reserve Bank of Australia.
“The counterfeit cheques are realistic in look and feel authentic; only after being put through a fluorescent scanner are they revealed to be fakes,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.
The counterfeit cheques are being sent from overseas as advance payment for accommodation, quite often around or near universities. The cheques are made out for a few thousand dollars more than the asking rent, and there is an accompanying letter requesting the balance of the overpayment be returned to the sender via Western Union transfer.
“I urge the public to be diligent and alert to scam behaviour. If you feel something is suspicious alert the ATO or other federal authority as soon as possible,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.