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  • October 2019 ATO impersonation scam report

    In the October 2019 ATO impersonation scam report:

    • 828 phone scam reports were officially recorded, an 80% decrease from last month
    • 750 online scam reports were received, 79% less than September
    • 1,121 phishing scam emails were reported to reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au
    • $68,417 was reported as being paid to scammers
      • bank transfers recorded the highest dollar amount paid totalling $55,431 with one client paying scammers $50,000
      • cardless cash payments netted scammers $7,880
      • iTunes and Google Play accounted for only 6% of the total payments made
       
    • 126 clients provided scammers with sensitive personal identifying information (PII).

    When we are advised a client has provided sensitive PII, we assess potential consequences and apply protective measures to secure their taxation 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 2018 and 2019 .
The number of emails reported: 
November 1,276, December 1,625; January 2019 - 987; February 647; March  672; April 669; May 1.279; June 498; July 475; August 523; September 525; October 1,769.
The number of phone calls reported: 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 6,510; September 4,059; October 828.
The number of Online reports received: 
July 6,179; August 5,080; September 3,620; October 750.

    Delivery methods

    Chart 2 shows a comparison between the most popular channels scammers used to contact people in October 2019. Of those, reported phone calls or voice messages accounted for 53%, email accounted for 40%, and SMS accounted for 7%.

    Payment methods

    Chart 3 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in October 2019.
3 paid $55,431 into bank accounts; 8 paid $7,880 via Cardless cash; 3 paid $3,000 via iTunes; 1 paid $1,400 via a gift card; 1 paid $706 via Credit card.

    See also:

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

    What we're doing

    In October, we issued a scam alert warning the community of a myGov SMS phishing scam asking victims to ‘update their details’. The SMS had a link which took you to a fake myGov website. Once at the website, it asked you to log in and update your personal details.

    You may have seen our alert being promoted across social media platforms such as TwitterExternal Link, FacebookExternal Link and LinkedIn. Following the social media activity on the alert, Nine news Australia wrote an article about the scam which they shared across their syndicate social media accounts including their National Twitter and Facebook accounts.

    See also:

    Next step:

      Last modified: 05 Dec 2019QC 60834