• Scam alerts

    Verify or report a scam explains how to spot and report a scam. If you are in doubt about contact with someone claiming to be from the ATO, you can phone us on 1800 008 540, 8:00am–6:00pm Monday to Friday to check.

    September 2017 Phone scam – fake debts

    Scammers are contacting people to say they have a tax debt and that they must pay immediately:

    • The call may be a robotic voice recording.
    • The caller will claim to be from or representing the ATO, often the ATO Tax Crime and Investigation Unit – the most common names scammers are currently using are
      • Alexander Lee
      • Michael Anderson or Harris
      • James Anderson
      • Matthew Clark
      • Mark Brown, Mark Davis or Mark Konza.
       
    • They will tell you that a complaint has been made against you and you are committing tax fraud or claim that you have to pay a debt that you know nothing about.
    • They may threaten immediate arrest or court if you don't pay straight away – they won't provide explanations or allow you to ask questions about the debt and often get aggressive or abusive.
    • They will ask you to pay using non-legitimate payment methods such as iTunes, store gift cards, or pre-paid visa cards.
    • They may provide you a number to call them on that is not a number from our Phone us page – the top five phone numbers scammers are asking people to phone in September are
      • 02 8005 1164 
      • 02 5306 2285 
      • 03 4309 4093 
      • 02 8006 9496 
      • 02 5306 2281
       

    It's OK to hang up and phone us on 1800 008 540 to see if the call was legitimate or report a scam.

    See also:

    September 2017 Email scam – refund

    Scammers are emailing people to tell them to claim their tax refund online.

    An example of the September 2017 Email scam (credit card refund). It shows the features we describe below when explaining what to look for in a scam email.

    The email:

    • is not from a correct ATO email address:
      • ATOep152@ref2.case927349.review is a scammer
      • atogovau@ato.gov.com is a scammer  
       
    • does not address you by name
    • offers you money you weren't expecting
      • you may not have done your tax return yet
      • you may have already received your refund
       
    • asks you to download a form.

    Note: The following ATO email addresses are legitimate:

    • noreply@ato.gov.au
    • noreplyCAS@ato.gov.au
    • no_replySBIT@ato.gov.au

    The attached refund form contains malicious software. Forward the email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au and then delete it.

    See also:

    August 2017 Scam – Tax return form

    Scammers are circulating an online form claiming to be the ATO's online Tax return form. If you come across a form such as this, it is a scam.

    An example of the August 2017 Tax return form scam. It shows the features we describe below when explaining what to look for in a scam form.

    This form:

    • is on a scammer's website – it isn't on ato.gov.au and it doesn't use https
    • is called a Tax return form, but we don't have a form with that name
    • asks for your personal information such as your place and date of birth
    • asks you to lodge your tax return in a non-legitimate electronic way – we use myTax, which you accessed through myGov.

    Forward the email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au and then delete it.

    See also:

    July 2017 Email scam – tax repayment

    Scammers are emailing people to tell them that they can claim a tax repayment or tax return online.

    An example of the July 2017 Tax return scam email. It shows the features we describe below when explaining what to look for in a scam email.

    This email:

    • is not from a legitimate @ato.gov.au sender
    • does not address you by name
    • contains a spelling mistake – 'ammount'
    • creates false urgency to respond
    • asks you to click a link to 'Claim online', but when you hover on the link it shows a web address that
      • does not use HTTPS
      • uses link shortcuts ow.ly or bit.ly
       
    • offers a delivery method of 'Electronically by card', but we only pay refunds by cheque or into an Australian bank account.

    The download could be phishing for your private information or contain malicious software. Forward the email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au and then delete it.

    See also:

    March 2017 Email Scam – online activity statement

    Scammers are emailing people to tell them that they can download their online activity statement.

    An example of the March 2017 online activity scam email. It shows the features we describe below when explaining what to look for in a scam email.

    This scam email:

    • is not from a legitimate @ato.gov.au sender, even though the sender, @atogovau.org, may look similar at first
    • doesn't include your business ABN or name
    • contains bad grammar
    • asks you to click on an active link and when hovering over it does not lead to an ato.gov.au address
    • is unexpected
    • asks you to use a non-legitimate electronic method to manage your account – you can manage your activity statement online using myGov.

    Forward the email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au and then delete it.

    See also:

    Last modified: 06 Oct 2017QC 53447