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  • April 2019 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the April 2019 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 8,342 phone scam reports were officially recorded, an increase of 696 from March
    • 471 phishing scam emails were reported to reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au
    • $149,089 was reported as being paid to scammers
      • bitcoin accounted for 44% of all payments, with the highest average per payment at $13,120
      • gift cards including Google Play and iTunes accounted for 37% of payments
       
    • clients who provided scammers with their personal identifying information (PII) totalled 60%.

    See also:

    Monthly comparison

     The number of phone calls reported: February 1,718; March 2,101; April 1,809; May 1,132; June 2,303, July 2,900, August 3,680, September 6,905; October 9,637; November 37,749; December 25,473; January 2019 - 23,237; February 9,342; March  7,646; April 8,342.

     

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in April 2019. Of those, reported phone calls or voice messages accounted for 91%, email accounted for 8%, and SMS accounted for 1%.

     

    Payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in April 2019. 5 paid $21,700 into bank accounts, 2 paid $969 via Credit Card, 5 paid $65,600 via Bitcoin, 2 paid $5,500 via iTunes, 21 paid $38,550 via Google Play, 7 paid $10,720 via a gift card, 2 paid $6,050 via a different method.

     

    See also:

    • How to pay for legitimate ways to pay your tax debt

    What we're doing

    In early April we started receiving large volumes of phone calls from the community, on legitimate ATO phone lines, responding to pre-recorded phone calls (robocalls) from scammers. In response, we issued a media release and scam alert warning the community of these robocalls, and the manipulation of caller identification to display a legitimate ATO phone number.

    This is a timely reminder to everyone to remain alert to scams. Remember, calls originating from the ATO do not project a caller ID and if you are ever unsure of the legitimacy of any ATO communication, phone us to verify on 1800 008 540.

    See also:

    Next step:

    Last modified: 31 May 2019QC 59161