2018 has already seen a spike in the annual Tax Scams, designed to trick you into paying money. Our team here at Online Tax Return have some helpful tips to ensure you stay safe from tax scams!
Types of scams
The Strange Phone Call
A scammer’s phone number could come up in private mode or as an Australian listed number from overseas. Generally, when you answer the call, there’s an actual person speaking whose intentions are to either access your bank accounts, to induce you to lodge false tax returns or BAS statements, to take out loans on your name, to gain access of your superannuation and if you’re an accountant, they’d probably try to steal your clients’ records.
WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING OUT FOR
• Abusive or threating approach
• Immediate payments such as inducing you to transfer money into an account with BSB that does not comply with the Reserve bank of Australia. NOTE: ATO BSBs are 092 009 and 093 003.
• Time of the day in which they call you. They mostly call when you’re not expecting
• Offers that are too good to be true
Text Message Scam
Text messages are one official way the ATO can contact you but they usually do not ask for personal information such as TFN or credit card details. Hence, if you receive a text message asking for such with links to fake website or login pages, delete immediately.
The Suspicious Voicemail
From March 2018, scammers are deceiving both individuals and business with threatening voice mails. They would usually say that they are from the ATO and that if the person they’re calling does not return the call back on the number provided, they will incur serious consequences.
Under no circumstances should you ever return the call back. If you receive this voicemail, it is advised that you delete it immediately and report it to the ATO https://www.ato.gov.au/general/online-services/identity-security/verify-or-report-a-scam/?=QC53447_Link6
The Fake ATO Email
Usually, scammers send you a tax email that lead you to saving and filling a refund form, which can also infect your computer with malware. These types of emails target business email users as well as personal email users, so keep in mind that if you receive an email promising money when you are not expecting one, it is highly likely to be a scam.
The top things to watch out for are:
• Illicit email address (such as ATOep152@ref2.case927349.review is a scammer)
• The informal, impersonal greeting, which does not address you by name
• Grammatical errors within the body and low resolution logos
• The download of a file to view the full report and the reason for the error in review
If you receive a suspecting email forward it to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au without altering any information and then delete all copies from your email account.
While, we at Nicoh, hope you don’t have to deal with tax scammers ever, we still advise you to be diligent of your personal information and of your actions should a scammer come along your way.
For more information about online tax return and/or tax scams, contact us 😊
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice.