ATO phone scam is targeting canberra

ATO phone scam is targeting canberra

ACT Policing is investigating a number of incidents where Canberrans have been defrauded by phone scammers claiming to represent the Australian Tax Office (ATO). In some incidents the scammers have taken large sums of money, from tens of thousands to over a hundred thousand dollars.

The scam often works like this:

  • You’ll receive a phone call from what appears to be an Australian phone number.
  • The scammers will claim they are from the ATO, that you have underpaid your tax and are now required to repay the debt immediately.
  • They may request your credit card details or ask you to pay the outstanding amount via a money transfer.
  • They may also ask you to purchase a pre-paid debit card, such as a ‘Load and Go’ card from your local post office and then send the card details to allow them access to the money.
  • If you don’t comply, they may become increasingly aggressive or threaten you with a warrant for your arrest or legal action.

We’re asking you to spread the word to your family and friends, particularly, if you know someone who would be vulnerable to this type of scam. The more people who know about how these scams work, the more likely they’ll recognise a scammer.

If you receive a call, or an email out, of the blue from someone claiming to represent the ATO and that you are entitled to or owe money – hang up or delete the email.

You can check whether they’re the real deal by calling the ATO on its official number 13 28 61.

Report scams to the ScamWatch or by calling 1300 795 995. If you’ve been defrauded, you can report it to police on 131 444.