ATO Phone scams

Please refer to the following message from the ATO regarding phone scams in respect of unpaid tax debts. Please note the ATO would never threaten jail or arrest and does not email, call or SMS asking for credit card or bank details to issue a refund.

Message from ATO
Phone scams are the number one type of scam in Australia. Scammers can impersonate ATO employees to obtain personal information for financial gain from taxpayers. Generally, phone scams demand payment for an unexpected debt or offer an unexpected refund or grant. It is important that you are aware that scammers try to collect personal information to steal your identity, including:

  • tax file numbers
  • names
  • addresses
  • dates of birth
  • myGov user name and password
  • bank account and credit card details
  • driver’s licence, Medicare and passport details.

This information is then used or sold to other criminals to commit identity fraud. This can happen immediately or even months or years later. Phone scammers are likely to be pushy or aggressive. They may tell you that there is a warrant out for your arrest or offer to send a taxi to take you to a post office so that you can make a payment.

The ATO would never threaten jail or arrest and does not email, call or SMS asking for credit card or bank details to issue a refund. Scammers pretending to be from the ATO are generally more common during tax time so please be vigilant to protect your personal information.