Tax Office Phone Scammers Threaten With Arrest

Posted Under: None Posted On 01/09/2016


Just in case you haven’t heard, there has been a spike in phone scammers saying they are from either the Australian Tax Office or the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. They are intimidating taxpayers into paying fake tax debt over the phone, or are saying you have a tax refund owing and to provide them personal details. If you don’t do what they say, they are threatening you will be arrested.

What to look out for –

  • the phone number being used looks like a local number but comes from overseas
  • the majority of calls are made during the day
  • they usually target older Australians that are home during the day who still have a landline

What to do if you get a call –

    • If you receive a phone call or email out of the blue from someone claiming to be from the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions or Australian Taxation Office telling you about an arrest warrant, hang up.
    • If you have any doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a government department, contact the body directly.
    • Don’t rely on numbers, email addresses or websites provided by the caller – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
    • Never send any money via wire transfer to anyone you do not know or trust.
    • Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
    • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution

Source: SCAMwatch, ACCC

Be aware that the scam can also be sent via email. Scammers say you have overpaid your tax. They get you to click through to a site that looks like the ATO and asks for your personal information and then instructs you to pay a fee to get back the money. Be assured that the ATO or any other financial institution will not ask you to pay for money that is yours. Delete these emails!

If in doubt whether it is a legitimate call or email about a tax debt, do not deal with them on the phone or by email. You can call us at the A Counting House office and we can look into it for you. 55261855