According to a recent press release by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), scammers are impersonating the ATO and attempting to obtain personal information, bank account details, and money from unsuspecting individuals. This is particularly concerning for residents seeking the assistance of accountants in Sydney to manage their finances and taxes.
These scammers are making phone calls to the general public, and unfortunately, they sound legitimate, as they have names and other personal details to begin their conversation.
These phone calls are designed to scare. They imply that fraud has been committed, 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 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 entirely sure who you are talking to.
Please get in touch with us immediately if you receive one of these calls.
Kreston Stanley Williamson Team
*Correct as of March 2016
*Disclaimer – Kreston Stanley Williamson has produced this article to serve 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 in this article, you must seek advice about your circumstances. Liability is limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.