It’s tax time…..and we all know what that means! Yes, it’s time to get the shoebox out, sort the receipts and get organised for your dreaded tax return.
But the start of a new financial year also tends to bring another issue altogether….scammers who are keen to cash in on peoples confusion and lack of time when it comes to filing their return.
Scammers claiming to be from the Sheriff’s office, or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are very active at this time of the year. One of their favourite ploys is to call and claim that you may have had a lawsuit filed against you for tax evasion and that there is a warrant out for your arrest.
Scammers are very savvy and able to spin many elaborate stories about why this warrant may have been issued, but failing to pay taxes is a very popular one!
Scammers will typically ask for money to be sent via a wire transfer or ask for people’s financial details along with other personal information. They can then use this information to access your accounts and also to commit other scams.
The scams typically work like this:
- You get a call from someone claiming to be from the Sheriff’s office or the ATO
- The call will often be an automated message, or the person on the other end will have an accent
- The caller will claim there is an active warrant for your arrest
- The caller will ask you to call a number (that appears to be authentic) that is likely to be a VOIP number.
- The scammer will then ask you to provide bank account details or make a payment to cover the fine
- They may also ask you for other personal information to confirm they are speaking to the right person
Don’t get scammed!
If you provide your account or other personal details, the scammers may be able to commit identity theft, or empty your bank accounts.
If you do receive a phone call or email out of the blue from someone claiming to be from the ATO, hang up
If you have any doubts of who the person may have been, contact the ATO directly and report the call or email to them
Importantly – never give out your personal or account details to anyone over the phone unless you have made the call and the phone number has come from a trusted source.
If you want to stay on top of what the latest scams are – visit scamwatch.com.au