It’s that time of year again where fraudsters use an everyday event like tax time to try to swindle people out of their money.
Here are some quick tips for knowing whether it’s the real tax man – the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) – that’s contacting you and to avoid getting caught up in a scam.
The ATO will not:
- Ask you to transfer money to someone other than the tax office. The BSBs for the ATO are 092-009 and 093-003 – both with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). If you receive a request claiming to be from the ATO that is using a different BSB number, call the ATO to verify the information.
- Act in an abusive manner or threaten you with arrest.
- Ask for a payment from you so that you can get a refund.
- Ask for payment by gift cards (e.g. iTunes gift cards) or other prepaid cards.
- Use email, text messages or social media to ask for sensitive information, or to send you files to download.
The ATO will:
- Send you messages asking you to contact them by phone to provide information or verify changes to an account.
- Encourage you to contact them to verify any communication you receive claiming to be from the ATO that doesn’t seem quite right.
Before you return a call from anyone you do not know personally, always verify the number yourself before calling back.
For more information on current ATO scams, to verify a contact attempt, or to report a scam to the ATO, visit the ATO website.