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  • June 2019 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the June 2019 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 6,444 phone scam reports were officially recorded, a decrease of over 300
    • 497 phishing scam emails were reported to
    • $137,740 was reported as being paid to scammers
      • increased iTunes payments accounted for 69% of the total payments made
      • the 18–44 year old demographic reported paying the most to scammers with the over 55 demographic reporting no payments
    • clients who provided scammers with their personal identifying information (PII) increased from 62% to 65% this month.

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    Monthly comparison

    Chart 1 shows a comparison between email and phone reports received each month to date in 2018 and 2019   The number of emails reported:  July 1,135; 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  The number of phone calls reported: July 2,900, 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

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in June 2019. Of those, reported phone calls or voice messages accounted for 92%, email accounted for 7%, 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 June 2019. 4 paid $10,980 into bank accounts 23 paid $94,420 via iTunes 5 paid $27,993 via Google Play 3 paid $4,000 via a gift card

    See also:

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

    What we're doing

    We issued a scam alert to warn of scammers using WhatsApp to impersonate the ATO. The alert highlighted a new twist on a previously reported fake tax debt scam which attempts to convince you to provide scammers with photos of your personal identifying information such as; drivers licence or passport via WhatsApp.

    The ATO does not have a profile on WhatsApp and will never engage with you on this platform.

    Providing personal information to scammers like your drivers licence or passport can increase the risk of your identity being compromised.

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    Next step:

      Last modified: 17 Jul 2019QC 59698