Show download pdf controls
  • August 2019 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the August 2019 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 6,510 phone scam reports were officially recorded which is consistent with reports received over the last two months.
    • 5,080 online scam reports were received, 18% less than July.
    • 344 phishing scam emails were reported to
    • $217,090 was reported as being paid to scammers, a 10% increase from July
      • bank transfers recorded the highest dollar amount paid to scammers averaging $5,189 per payment
      • the 25–34 demographic paid the highest dollar amount to scammers, mainly through bank transfers, iTunes and Western Union transfers.
    • 450 clients provided scammers with personal identifying information (PII) including their date of birth, tax file number (TFN), driver licence number and Notice of Assessment details. PII is valuable to scammers who may use it together with your name and address to compromise your identity.

    See also:

    Monthly comparison

    Chart 1 shows a comparison between email, phone and online reports received each month to date in 2018 and 2019.
The number of emails reported: 
September 1,954; October 1,312; November 1,276, December 1,625; January 2019 - 987; February 647; March  672; April 669; May 1.279; June 498; July 475; August 523.
The number of phone calls reported: 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; May 6,771; June 6.444; July 6,645; August 523.
The number of Online reports received: 
July 6,179; August 5,080.

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in August 2019. Of those, reported phone calls or voice messages accounted for 93%, email accounted for 5%, and SMS accounted for 2%.

    Payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in July 2019.
19 paid $98,555 into bank accounts.
26 paid $57,814 via iTunes.
3 paid $11,300 via Google Play.
3 paid $4,850 via a gift card.
9 paid $36,850 via Western Union.
1 paid $286 via Credit Card.

    See also:

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

    What we're doing

    During August, we continued our support of Scams Awareness Week as part of a national campaign by the Scams Awareness NetworkExternal Link. Scams Awareness week focussed on testing scams knowledge and asking the community if they're ‘too smart to be scammed?’.

    We are pleased to be involved in raising community awareness of scams through the education and awareness messaging across our communications and social media platforms. By sharing and promoting scam awareness messages together with our partners we can reach a broad audience.

    Make sure you are up to date with known ATO impersonation scams and awareness messages by following us on social media or visiting our Scam Alerts page.

    See also:

    Next step:

      Last modified: 23 Oct 2019QC 60466