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  • November 2019 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the November 2019 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 723 phone scam reports were officially recorded, a decrease from October.
    • 635 online scam reports were received
    • 1,168 phishing scam emails were reported to reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au
    • $27,499 was reported as being paid to scammers
      • cardless cash payments surpassed bank transfers this month netting scammers $9,300
      • the 25–34 demographic accounted for 49% of the total amount paid this month using cardless cash and bank transfer as their only methods
      • iTunes recorded the highest dollar amount this month with the 35–54 demographic showing the highest use of this payment method.
       
    • 78 clients provided scammers with sensitive personal identifying information (PII) in November. 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.

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    Monthly comparison

    Chart 1 shows a comparison between email, phone and online reports received each month to date in 2018 and 2019.Number of emails reported: December 1,625; January 2019 - 987; February 647; March  672; April 669; May 1.279; June 498; July 475; August 523; September 525; October 1,769; November 1,241.Number of phone calls reported: December 25,473; January 2019 - 23,237; February 9,342; March  7,646; April 8,342; May 6,771; June 6,444; July 6,645; August 6,510; September 4,059; October 828; November 723.Number of Online reports received: July 6,179; August 5,080; September 3,620; October 750; November 635.

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in November 2019. Of those, reported phone calls or voice messages accounted for 50%, email accounted for 45%, and SMS accounted for 5%.

    Payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in November 2019.2 paid $4,880 into bank accounts4 paid $9,300 via Cardless cash2 paid $10,620 via iTunes1 paid $2,500 via a gift card1 paid $199 via Credit card.

    See also:

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

    What we're doing

    We have developed Easy Read content for selected scams information. Is it a scam? has been added to our website and is aimed at people who:

    • have cognitive and, or learning disabilities
    • low levels of literacy
    • use English as a second language.

    If you speak another language, information can be found on our website to help you learn more about identity crime and provide tips on how to keep your personal information safe from identity theives.

    Keep informed on new scam alerts by subscribing to general email updates. Subscribers will receive updates on all new general content on our website, including the latest scam alerts.

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    Last modified: 17 Jan 2020QC 61132