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  • February 2018 ATO Impersonation scam report

    In the February 2018 ATO Impersonation scam report:

    • 2415 calls were received into the 1800 008 540 scam reporting hotline and over 1300 emails were reported to reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au
    • 3,080 scam reports were officially recorded from across the office
    • over $33,000 was paid to scammers with iTunes payments garnering the highest amount paid out
    • over a quarter of clients who spoke with scammers also provided personal identifiable information (PII) to them. By providing PII to scammers clients have potentially opened themselves up to being victimised in the future.

    See also:

    Chart 1: Monthly comparison of reported ATO Impersonation scams

    Chart 1 shows a comparison between email and phone reports received each month to date in 2018.   The number of emails reported: January 1461; February 1362.  The number of phone calls reported: January 1358; February 1718.

    Chart 2: Reported ATO impersonation scammer delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in February 2018.  Reports show that 42% of scams were received via email and 58% were by phone or voice message.

    Chart 3: ATO Impersonation scammer payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in February 2018.  1 paid $1800 via bank transfers; 8 paid $8532 via personal credit cards; 2 paid $8620 via Bitcoin; 5 paid $13654 via iTunes;1 paid $900 via an unknown method.

    What we're doing

    Scams impersonating tax administrations are a growing global concern. Sharing knowledge and discussing scam trends, disruption techniques and mitigation strategies with our international counterparts assists in the fight against scammers.

    The ATO regularly analyses and investigates email 'phishing' campaigns reported by the Australian community to our 'Report email fraud' mailbox. We recently identified a particular campaign that was not only targeting Australians but also New Zealand citizens. By alerting our network partners in New Zealand to this campaign they were able to implement their own awareness and disruption techniques.

    By collaborating with our partners we are seeing increased awareness of these scams globally and the community is instrumental in assisting us by reporting their experience.

    Next step:

    See also:

    Last modified: 09 Aug 2018QC 56431