Scams impersonating ATO staff to con Australians into transferring money or risk arrest are backSeptember 28, 2018
A scam involving fake calls from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is back, this time telling victims they have committed fraud against the tax office.
The new method of initiating a three-way conversation between the scammer, the victim and another scammer impersonating the victim’s tax agent is pushing victims to transfer money.
The caller also tells the victim that there is a warrant out for their arrest.
Queensland Police Financial and Cyber Crimes Group Detective Inspector Melissa Anderson said in the past year the ATO was notified about the scam more than 81,000 times.
“When you engage with these people it’s hard to not give some of your personal information as their aim is to get you to be confident in them and feel pressured to part with your information,” she said.
“They build pressure and stress in the call an create urgency for payments to be made. Our advice is that you should hang up and ignore it.
“When they get that information they can use it to exploit your bank accounts and take advantage of you.”
What to listen out for
Detective Inspector Anderson said the ATO or other government offices ordinarily do not make cold calls.
“Some of the tell-tale signs are when they tell people that cannot make alternative contact, as well as the reference to ‘you’re a good citizen of your country’. Not many people would use those words,” she told ABC Radio Brisbane.
“Don’t let scammers push your buttons as they try and make you feel anxious and tell you that bad things will happen.
“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, and that’s a good sign that it’s a scam.”
Here are statements made by scammers during the ATO scam call:
Scammer: I can tell you the reason for the call is to inform you that you have been listed as the primary suspect in a case being filed by the ATO and I have received a legal affidavit against your name in which it says there is an outstanding tax liability.
Scammer: You also tried to commit a fraud with the ATO. I just need to have your lawyer’s name and number to be able to sort it.
Scammer: When we did a random audit on your tax filings between the years of 2012 to 2017 we got to know that there were some major miscalculations in your tax filings, and the taxes that you have showed does not match the tax records that we got.
Scammer: According to section 101 that amount is still outstanding, that you have not paid, which is $2,600. It includes all the pending taxes, legal charges and late fees.
Scammer: You have an outstanding tax bill and there is a lawsuit that has been filed and we’re moving forward with an arrest warrant. Do you want to resolve this case?
Scammer: Either you can challenge this legal issue in the court of law, or you are going to end up paying more than $20,000. Either you can resolve this case directly with the ATO by just ending up paying…