What is a
Tax Scam?

A tax scam is an email, phone call or SMS from someone claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or another government agency like myGov. You might be asked to give your personal details or make a payment and if you refuse, you may be threatened with arrest or legal action.

Tax scammers are more prevalent at the end of the financial year. Remember, be scam aware and never share personal or financial information, security codes or give anyone access to your devices.

tax scams:

  • Tax refund – An ‘ATO’ refund that requires you to share personal or financial information.
  • Tax owed – Threats of arrest or a fine if you don’t pay the scammers’ tax demands.
  • TFN & ABN – Messages asking for your Australian Business Number (ABN) or Tax File Number (TFN).
  • ATO impersonator – Scammers on social media offering to help with tax and super questions.

Don’t fall for
phishing scams:

Phishing emails and SMS impersonating the ATO or myGov are a common tax scam. Be suspicious of messages that state you are due a refund but your details need updating or that you owe the ATO and need to pay immediately.

These messages often include links that take you to fake websites that are designed to disclose your information. Always sign into your myGov or bank account directly through the App or website to check your messages.

How to protect yourself from
tax scams:

  • Do not click on any links or download attachments from suspicious emails or messages claiming to be from tax authorities.
  • Report the incident to the appropriate tax authority. You can report it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
  • Contact your bank immediately if you suspect any fraudulent transactions or if you have inadvertently provided sensitive information.
  • Educate yourself and others about the common signs of tax scams to prevent future occurrences.
  • Check the official website of your tax authority for any alerts or updates on current scam tactics.
  • Use official communication channels to contact your tax authority if you need to verify the authenticity of a communication.
  • Keep your personal and financial information secure and be cautious about sharing it online or over the phone.
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