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  • July 2019 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the July 2019 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 6,645 phone scam reports were officially recorded – a small increase of 200 from June
    • 6,179 online scam reports were received in the first month of our online reporting form going live
    • 465 phishing scam emails were reported to
    • $197,057 was reported as being paid to scammers – a 43% increase from June
      • Google Play reported the highest total paid to scammers averaging $5,740 per payment compared to iTunes which averaged $3,160
      • the 25–34 demographic paid the highest amount to scammers this month, mostly by iTunes and Google Play
    • 520 clients provided scammers with their personal identifying information (PII) including date of birth, tax file number (TFN), driver's licence number and notice of assessment details
      • this type of information is valuable to scammers, who use it together with your name and address to potentially 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: 
August 1 686; 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 
The number of phone calls reported: August 3,680, 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
The number of Online reports received: (NEW)
July 6,179.

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in July 2019. Of those, reported phone calls or voice messages accounted for 95%, email accounted for 4%, and SMS accounted for 1%.

    Payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in July 2019.
2 paid $2,800 into bank accounts
2 paid $4,097 via Credit Card
1 paid $8,000 via Bitcoin
21 paid $66,350 via iTunes
20 paid $114,810 via Google Play
1 paid $1,000 via a gift card

    See also:

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

    What we're doing

    You can now report an ATO impersonation scam to us on our website. Our new online report a scam form is now live, with July being our first full month of reporting.

    Figures indicate that the new online option has been well received within the community, with over 6,100 reports submitted during the month of July.

    The online form is another way to report a scam, only if:

    • you have not paid the scammer
    • you have not provided PII to the scammer
    • you have not been contacted by email or SMS.

    We are still offering our 1800 008 540 scam reporting hotline number as a way to verify the legitimacy of an ATO interaction. Victims who have paid or provided personal identifying information to scammers should report by phoning the hotline.

    See also:

    Next step:

      Last modified: 09 Sep 2019QC 60080