It is imperative that you keep your personal information secure, the ATO has released another warning about increased scam activity this year.
From the ATO
Scammers frequently claim to be from the ATO and according to Ms Anderson, you should be wary of any phone call, text message, email, or letter about a tax refund or debt, especially if you weren’t expecting it. “The ATO regularly sends emails and SMS’s and we make lots of calls each week. But there are some tell-tale signs that it isn’t the ATO, including that the ATO will not:
- use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten you with arrest, jail or deportation;
- request payment of a debt via iTunes, pre-paid visa cards, cryptocurrency or direct credit to a bank account with a BSB that isn’t either 092-009 or 093-003;
- request a fee in order to release a refund owed to you; or
- email or SMS you asking you to click on a link to provide login, personal or financial information, or to download a file or open an attachment.
Last year the ATO received over 81,000 scams reports, with more than $2.4 million being paid to scammers and almost 10,000 people providing their personal information. Ms Anderson says that while the ATO will act on reports, the best way to stop the scammers is for the whole community to protect themselves and others, especially the elderly and people who are isolated.
The ATO’s dedicated scams line is 1800 008 540.