• Don’t let your business get scammed - an audio guide

    This guide provides information to business owners on how to prevent being scammed. It explains that one of the most common ways to scam businesses is through identity crime and outlines tips you can follow to help protect your business .

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    Listen to the audio Don’t let your business get scammed – an audio guide (MP3, 5 minutes 28 seconds) or read the transcript.

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    Attention

    The information in this guide was current at June 2014.

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    Audio guide transcript

    Welcome to your audio guide on helping prevent your business from being scammed, from the Australian Taxation Office.

    The recording lasts for approximately five minutes.

    David
    Every year, many honest businesses fall victim to scammers. In this audio guide we will explain how you can help prevent your business from being scammed.

    Jenny
    One of the most common ways businesses are scammed is through identity crime.

    David
    That’s right – identity crime occurs when someone uses another person’s identity to commit fraud or other crimes. It can involve creating a new or false identity, or using stolen information to impersonate someone else. The identity can then be used to claim false tax refunds, avoid paying tax, to apply for government benefits, live in Australia as a citizen or to access bank accounts.

    Jenny
    Identity thieves often target businesses to steal their identity to lodge false GST claims, get loans in the businesses name or purchase goods under the businesses name.

    David
    The personal and business implications of identity crime can be enormous. For individuals and businesses whose identities are stolen, considerable time and effort is required to restore their identity, amend credit profiles and sort out financial arrangements.

    Jenny
    It is really important that both individuals and businesses protect themselves from identity thieves.

    David
    It is. The ATO has released some tips to help protect individuals and businesses from getting scammed.

    Jenny
    That’s right. The first one, which I am sure our listeners have heard before, is – it crucial you keep your personal and business details secure.

    David
    We have heard of people being scammed from personal documents they put in the rubbish. So make sure you always shred or destroy any documents that have your personal and business details on them before you throw them away. This includes all documents that have details which can be used to identify you such as your bank account numbers, passwords or your tax file number.

    Jenny
    You also need to be careful about who you share your information with.

    David
    That’s right. It’s important to ask yourself if the person who is asking for your details is really entitled to this information.

    Jenny
    Only certain people are entitled to ask for your personal information. This includes the ATO, your superannuation fund and your bank. The ATO will never ask you to confirm, update or disclose confidential details via an unsecure channel, such as email.

    David
    There are also a number of things the ATO recommends you check on a regular basis to make sure your identity has not been stolen. Can you tell us what people should be checking?

    Jenny
    Sure, first you should check if anyone has registered an Australian business number in your name. You can check this by going to abn.business.gov.auExternal Link and search for your name. You can also call us on 13 28 66.

    David
    If you ever think your identity has been compromised, you should call the ATO on 13 28 61.

    Jenny
    That’s right, the ATO is here to help you, so call them as soon as you have any concerns.

    David
    One final thing I want to mention – if you have given someone permission to represent you and access your records, you must notify the ATO so that person can be recorded as a contact for your business.

    After you notify us, that person will then need to call the ATO to confirm their identity. Only after we have done this will we grant them access to your business's records.

    Jenny
    That’s right – the ATO takes keeping your business information secure very seriously, because as, we talked about before, the consequences of your details getting into the wrong hands can be significant.

    David
    That brings us to the end of our audio guide on keeping your business safe from scammers. If you would like more information, visit ato.gov.au and search for 'tax evasion and crime' to find out more about identity theft and online security or call the ATO on 13 28 66.

    Jenny
    You can also visit ato.gov.au/SBA to access the ATO’s Small business assist website, which provides tailored help for small business.

    David
    Great. Thanks for listening, good-bye for now.

    Jenny
    This information was provided to you by the Australian Taxation Office. We are committed to providing you with advice and information you can rely on.

    The information in this recording was current at June 2014. Your narrators were Jenny Seedsman and David Tradinic. This concludes the recording.

      Last modified: 07 Oct 2016QC 42346