Scams – Is it really the ATO calling?

Scams – Is it really the ATO calling?

We have heard from a number of clients of attempts by scammers pretending to be the ATO on the telephone. These scammers are trying to access personal data and get fictitious tax debts paid out, there and then. We have been told that these callers can be quite aggressive and intimidating.

These phone scams are in addition to the ongoing risk of receiving fake emails claiming to be from the ATO or similar government departments.

Care should always be taken to protect your personal data, and you should not provide any personal or financial details over the phone, via email or online, to anyone that you do not trust or can not identify.

The ATO simply does not operate in the way described above. Where we act as your registered tax agent, the ATO would in most instances contact us first.

If the ATO does contact you directly, it would be by SMS or letter before they call.

If you are contacted and you want to confirm the details, you should ask for the name and call reference number from the person you are speaking to, then phone the ATO back on 13 28 69.

Otherwise, if you have any doubts do not hesitate to speak to us.

*Correct as of August 2015

*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.

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