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  • July 2020 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the July 2020 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 2,175 scam reports were recorded via our dedicated phone line
    • we received 2,943 online scam reports
    • 280 phishing scam emails were reported to reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au
    • $172,540 was reported as being paid to scammers
      • bank transfers recorded the highest amount paid $86,682
      • gift cards netted scammers $29,510
      • iTunes and Google Play earned scammers a combined total of $36,848.

    There were 352 clients who provided scammers with sensitive personal identifying information (PII) in July. When a client advises they have provided sensitive PII, we assess potential consequences and apply protective measures to secure their taxation and superannuation accounts where appropriate.

    See also:

    Monthly comparison

    Chart 1 comparison between email, phone and online reports received each month.Number of emails reported: 
August 523; September 525; October 1,769; November 1,241; December 410; 2020 January 2,114; February 917; March 902; April 796; May 311; June 457; July 2.175. Number of phone calls reported:  August 6,510; September 4,059; October 828; November 723; December 418; 2020 January 483; February 542; March 563; April 309; May 1,617; June 4,467; 2,175. Number of online reports received:  August 5,080; September 3,620; October 750; November 635; December 327; 2020 January 610; February 768; March 805; April 346; May 2,061; June 4,134; 2,394.

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in July 2020. Of those, reported phone calls or voice messages accounted for 86%, email accounted for 6%, and text message accounted for 8%.

    Payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in July 2020. 11 paid $86,682 via bank transfer, 2 paid $1,000 via cardless cash, 10 paid $29,510 via a gift card, 1 paid $1,000 via credit card; 6 paid $25,314 via iTunes, 3 paid $11,534 via Google Play, 1 paid $6,000 via Bitcoin; 2 paid $11,500 via not specified.

    See also:

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

    What we're doing

    In July we published a scam alert warning the community of various myGov related SMS and email scams. These scams look like they have come from a myGov or ATO email address or appear in a legitimate ATO or myGov SMS message thread.

    We do communicate with you via SMS and email. However, if you're unsure whether an ATO interaction is genuine, do not reply or click on any links. It's OK to contact us on our dedicated scam line 1800 008 540 to check if the communication is legitimate or not. You can also report a scam online at ato.gov.au/report a scam.

    See also:

    Next step:

    Last modified: 26 Aug 2020QC 63474