ATO Scams... Watch Out!
Scammers calling, messaging or emailing claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office are no new thing. They have been known to take advantage of people by employing fear or surprise tactics. But does that mean all text messages claiming to be from the ATO are fake?
The ATO at times uses SMS and emails for promotional and informational purposes. They have recently advised of their intention to message if bank details have not been provided or are incorrect on the tax return. So how are you to know whether the correspondence you received is real or fake?
There are a number of giveaways that you can look for. Firstly, the ATO will never ask you to reply by SMS or email with personal details, such as tax file numbers, BSB or bank account numbers.
Secondly, they will never demand immediate payments, threaten you with arrest and/or require payment by iTunes vouchers, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
In the event that you receive a message from the ATO requiring you to provide your bank details in order to receive your refund, you will be asked to contact the ATO. If any phone numbers are provided the legitimacy of those can be confirmed by a search in your chosen search engine.
If you are ever unsure about the authenticity of ATO correspondence, you can call the ATO on 1800 008 540.