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  • April 2020 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the April 2020 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 309 scam reports were recorded via our dedicated phone line
    • we received 346 online scam reports
    • 790 phishing scam emails were reported to
    • $42,530 was reported as being paid to scammers
      • bank transfers recorded the highest amount paid $42,030
      • cardless cash netted scammers $500
    • 129 clients provided scammers with sensitive personal identifying information (PII). When a client advises they have provided sensitive PII, we assess potential consequences and apply protective measures to secure their tax and superannuation accounts where appropriate.

    See also:

    Monthly comparison

    Chart 1 shows a comparison between email, phone and online reports received each month to date in 2019 and 2020. 
Number of emails reported: 
May 1.279; June 498; July 475; August 523; September 525; October 1,769; November 1,241; December 410; 2020 January 2,114; February 917; March 902; April 796.
Number of phone calls reported: 
May 6,771; June 6,444; July 6,645; August 6,510; September 4,059; October 828; November 723; December 418; 2020 January 483; February 542; March 563; April 309.
Number of online reports received: 
July 6,179; August 5,080; September 3,620; October 750; November 635; December 327; 2020 January 610; February 768; March 805; April 346.

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in April 2020. Of those, reported phone calls or voice messages accounted for 20%, email accounted for 26%, and text message accounted for 54%.

    Payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in April 2020.
4 paid $42,030 via Bank transfer
1 paid $500 via Cardless cash.

    See also:

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

    What we're doing

    We are aware of a significant increase in Australians being targeted with scams related to COVID-19, fraud attempts and deceptive email and SMS schemes.

    We will communicate with you via SMS and email if you have applied for the JobKeeper payment, or early release of superannuation. However, if you're unsure whether an ATO interaction is genuine, do not reply.

    In response to this, we have updated our Current SMS and email activities page listing current campaigns. We have also prepared social media posts on FacebookExternal Link and TwitterExternal Link encouraging people to visit the webpage if they think they have fallen victim to a scam.

    See also:

    Next step:

      Last modified: 27 May 2020QC 62742