Do you know how to spot a scam?

We continue to see instances of scam emails, SMS or phone calls where criminals try to steal money or information from you or your clients. These scams can be very convincing and many individuals fall victim to these each year.

To avoid becoming a victim, it is important that you and your clients know some of the common characteristics of a scam.

Scam communications:

  • are unsolicited
  • are pushy and can be intimidating, threatening arrests or penalties if payment for an unknown tax debt is not made immediately
  • demand payment in full and in some instances via unconventional means such as iTunes cards, cash transfers or gift vouchers
  • ask you for your personal or financial information or to confirm information they pretend they have
  • are often poorly worded, containing spelling and grammatical mistakes
  • may promise you a tax refund in exchange for a payment or personal information
  • may contain an attachment or fake links requesting you to lodge a form – opening these attachments or links can cause you to download spyware or a virus.

How to report a scam

If a scammer or someone claiming to be from the ATO has contacted you or your client and you are unsure of the legitimacy, let us know.

For phone scams you or your client should:

  • hang up immediately
  • call our dedicated scam reporting line 1800 008 540 between 8am–6pm EST, Monday to Friday.

For email scams you or your client should:

See also:

Last modified: 06 Jun 2016QC 49269