Each Month the Australian Taxation Office provides a detailed report to Tax Agents on Illegal Scam activities and their impact.

The most recent report for June 2019 focused on “impersonation scam” whereby scammers purport to be the ATO and contact taxpayers demanding payment of outstanding sums.

Below is a snapshot of activity for June 2019:

  • A total of 6,444 phone scam reports were officially recorded
  • A total of 497 phishing scam emails were reported.
  • Taxpayers who provided scammers with their personal identifying information increased from 62% to 65% in June.
  • A total of $137,740 was reported as being paid to scammers.
  • iTunes payments accounted for 69% of total payments made.
  • People in the age group demographic of 18 – 44 reported paying the most to scammers.
  • People over the age of 55 reported no payments.

Below is a graph of activity reported over the last 12 months.

The ATO has issued a warning that “WhatsApp” is being increasingly used by scammers noting that the ATO does not have a profile on “WhatsApp” and would never engage with Taxpayers on this forum.

Scamming methods are usually identified by:

  • Threats of immediate arrest.
  • Unsolicited pre-recorded messages.
  • Demand immediate payment.
  • Request payment by iTunes, Google Play, STEAM or other vouchers.
  • Request payment into a personal bank account.
  • Request you provide personal ID or Bank details via a return e-mail or SMS.
  • Request you click on a link on a text message or email to download a form.

If you receive a suspicious email or text message (SMS) claiming to be from the ATO , forward the entire email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au .

If you or someone you know has paid or provided sensitive personal information to a scammer you can contact the ATO on 1800 008 540 to report or contact Davidsons on 03 5221 6399 and ask to speak to your Davidsons contact.

 

Disclaimer: this information is of a general nature and should not be viewed as representing financial advice. Users of this information are encouraged to seek further advice if they are unclear as to the meaning of anything contained in this article. Davidsons accepts no responsibility for any loss suffered as a result of any party using or relying on this article.