The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has again issued a warning about the phone scams that regularly target Australian taxpayers.
Criminals are now increasingly using caller ID spoofing to make it appear that the scam calls are really coming from the ATO. This trick can increase the chances that recipients will believe that the call is legitimate and comply with the scammer’s instructions.
The phone scammers often claim that you will be arrested for tax evasion if you do not make an immediate payment. They will demand that you pay via iTunes gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid credit cards, or even Bitcoin. These scammers can be very intimidating and may be quite skilled at impersonating ATO staff.
The scammers may also trick you into providing sensitive personal and financial information during the course of the scam call. This information might later be used to steal your identity.
Keep in mind that the ATO will never call you and threaten to arrest you if you do not make an immediate payment. If you receive such a call, just hang up.
Be wary of any phone call that purports to be from your country’s tax agency and claims that you must make immediate payments to avoid arrest or legal action.