The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has issued a press release stating that there are people out there (let’s call them ‘scammers’) pretending to be the ATO. These scammers are attempting to gain access to people’s personal details, their bank accounts, and in turn their hard earned cash.
These scammers, are making phone calls to the general public, and unfortunately they are sounding legitimate, as they have names and other personal details to begin their conversation.
These phone calls are designed to scare. They are implying that fraud has been committed and are threatening heavy fines, legal action and subsequent prison sentences. That is, unless you provide bank account details to them.
These phone calls are scams.
If you have any doubts about who is calling you, we suggest that you request a phone number from the caller, so that you can call them back once you have spoken with us. If they refuse to provide this, then it is probably a scammer that you are talking to.
Note that the ATO may call you regarding outstanding tax debts and late lodgments, but it is far more likely that they will contact us, as your tax agent, first.
Remember, these scammers sound very convincing, but you should never provide personal information over the phone until you are completely sure who it is you are talking to.
Please contact us immediately if you receive one of these calls.
Kreston Stanley Williamson Team
*Correct as of March 2016
*Disclaimer – this article has been produced by Kreston Stanley Williamson as a service to its clients and associates. The information contained in the article is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas contained in this article, it is imperative you seek specific advice relating to your particular circumstances. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.