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  • November 2018 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the November 2018 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 37,749 phone scam reports were officially recorded this month, an increase of almost 30,000 reports from October
    • 1,276 phishing scam emails were reported to reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au
    • $1,127,782 was reported as being paid to scammers, a significant increase from October. Payments via Bank account, Bitcoin, iTunes and Google Play continue to account for the majority of losses
    • 50% of clients provided scammers with their personal identifying information (PII).

    See also:

    Monthly comparison

     Chart 1 shows a comparison between email and phone reports received each month to date in 2018.The number of emails reported: January 1,461; February 1,362; March 3,850; April 1,568; May1,349; June 1,268, July 1,135, August 686, September 1,954, October 1,312; November 1,276. The number of phone calls reported: January 1,358; February 1,718; March 2,101; April 1,809; May 1,132; June 2,303, July 2,900, August 3,680, September 6,905; October 9,637; November 37,749

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in October 2018. Of those reported, phone calls or voice messages accounted for 90%; email accounted for 8%; and text message 2%.

    Payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in November 2018. 16 paid $265,220 into bank accounts; 2 paid $3486 via credit card; 20 paid $180,430 via bitcoin; 106 paid $236,544 via iTunes; 101 paid $335,044 via Google Play; 12 paid $35,050via a gift card; 12 paid $68,008 via a different method

    What we're doing

    With the payment of tax debts being due in November, it was a prime time for scammers trying to take advantage of vulnerable people. Following an increase in scam reports and payments we issued a media release reminding the community to remain on high alert to scammers as Tax Time draws to a close.

    We also initiated scam awareness messaging across our social media platforms, including FacebookExternal Link, TwitterExternal Link and LinkedInExternal Link, in support of this alert.

    Scammers continue to impact the wider community and cause harm to members of the public. It is a timely reminder to everyone to be alert and check the legitimacy of any communication from us that you were not expecting to receive.

    Next step:

      Last modified: 08 Jan 2019QC 57727