We remind all members to be alert for scammers impersonating the ATO, as it appears they have changed tactics in 2019.
The ATO is seeing the emergence of a new tactic where: “scammers are using an ATO number to send fraudulent SMS messages to taxpayers asking them to click on a link and hand over their personal details in order to obtain a refund”.
The ATO has received reports of scammers maliciously manipulating the calling line identification so the phone number that appears is different to the number from which the call originated.
This is referred to as “spoofing” and is a common technique used by scammers to appear legitimate.
It appears these scams aim to steal taxpayers' personal details and identities.
The ATO has advised it will not:
send an email or SMS asking a taxpayer to click on a link to provide login, personal or financial information, or to download a file or open an attachment;
use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten taxpayers with arrest, jail or deportation;
request payment of a debt via iTunes or Google Play cards, pre-paid Visa cards, cryptocurrency or direct credit to a personal bank account; or
request a fee in order to release a refund owed to taxpayers.
If you are ever in doubt, don't reply and contact the ATO directly to confirm the validity of any request.