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07 Feb 2019 New year, new scam

The ATO is warning taxpayers to be alert for scammers impersonating the ATO, as they change tactics in 2019. 

Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said, "We are seeing the emergence of a new tactic, where scammers are using an ATO number to send fraudulent SMS messages to taxpayers asking them to click on a link and hand over their personal details in order to obtain a refund." 

“This scam is not just targeting your money, but is after your personal information in an attempt to steal your identity.” 

While the ATO regularly contacts taxpayers by phone, email and SMS, there are some tell-tale signs that it isn’t the ATO. The ATO will not: 

  • send you an email or SMS asking you to click on a link to provide login, personal or financial information, or to download a file or open an attachment;
  • use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten you with arrest, jail or deportation;
  • request payment of a debt via iTunes or Google Play cards, pre-paid Visa cards, cryptocurrency or direct credit to a personal bank account; or
  • request a fee in order to release a refund owed to you. 

More information can be found here.

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