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  • Scam data

    Each month, we provide a snapshot of information received from the public about ATO impersonation scams. This intelligence helps shape our community scam education and awareness strategies.

    Latest scam data

    In August 2021, we received:

    • 1,060 scam reports via our dedicated phone line
    • 2,424 scam reports via our online form
    • 424 scam reports via reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au

    People reported losing $101,573 to scammers. This is a significant drop from August 2020, where the total amount was $227,015.

    The most common methods of payment were:

    • cardless cash ($36,400)
    • cash ($30,000)
    • bitcoin ($10,955).

    This month, 169 clients lost sensitive personal identifying information (PII) to scammers.

    When a client tells us they've provided sensitive PII, we assess the potential consequences, and apply measures to secure their tax and super accounts where needed.

    See also:

    Monthly comparison

    Chart 1: Monthly comparison of reported ATO impersonation scams

    Chart 1 comparison between the number of phone, email and SMS scams reported each month 
Number of phone scams reported: 
September 17,019; October 22,318; November 13,682; December 7,317; January 7,329; February 9,556; March 7,963; April 3,058; May 3,275; June 3,090; July 5,325; August 3,546
Number of email scams reported: 
September 418; October 590; November 598; December 284; January 122; February 218; March 372; April 264; May 256; June 123; July 409; August 272
Number of SMS scams reported: 
September 328; October 142; November 141; December 65; January 323; February 149; March 53; April 25; May 39; June 44; July 77; August 80

    Payment methods

    Chart 2: ATO impersonation scammer payment methods, August 2021

    Chart 2 shows the total amount paid, method of payment and number of people who paid scammers in August 2021.
5 paid $36,400 via cardless cash
1 paid $30,000 via cash
1 paid $10,955 via bitcoin
3 paid $10,620 via credit card
3 paid $10,110 via gift cards
1 paid $1,300 via unknown
4 paid $1,188 via bank transfer
1 paid $1,000 via Google Play

    See also:

    • How to pay for legitimate ways to pay your tax debt
    Last modified: 06 Oct 2021QC 56423