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Take the time to verify

Last updated 13 March 2023

Scams continue to be in the spotlight, with a growing number of impersonator scams targeting trusted figures and organisations.

Scammers go to great lengths to impersonate the ATO, our officers and senior executive staff. Their aim? To trick people into handing over personal information and money.

But there are always a few details that can give a scammer away.

Take for instance a recent email pretending to be from ATO Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Saint, asking the recipient to pay an invoice of $10,600.

We noticed that:

  • the text wasn't formatted consistently
  • parts of the email were 'blurry', as though photoshopped from another source
  • the email asked for payment to be sent to the 'Australian Taxation Office server'
  • there was no billing or helpline information included.

Combined, these relatively small details add up to one big red flag.

We've also seen a range of impersonation accounts across social media platforms impersonating the ATO and our staff. You can learn more about spotting fake accounts by reading our recently issued scam alert.

It's always worth taking the time to assess any correspondence you receive from the ATO to make sure it's legitimate, whether it comes via email, SMS, social media or even the post.

More information on identifying scams is available on our Verify or report a scam webpage.