ATO scams – be on red alert!
Just when you think it’s safe to go outdoors, it’s not. This week in our TaxAssist Accountants' practices we have had three clients approached by scammers.
Two were told that they were being audited by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with threats that their credit rating would be affected, as well as their property would be ceased if they did not comply.
These threats scared both clients, but they rang one of our offices to confirm and we advised that the ATO does not operate that way.
In another case, a client had paid $10,000 as a result of an audit, as was told his accountant would reimburse him. We advised it was a scam and to contact the Federal Police. This client had paid online via Google credit cards, so the payments cannot be claimed back.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has reported that $300,000 has been paid to scammers, but this is just the ‘reported’ figure. The true figure is likely to be much higher.
Our advice to avoid sending across your payment details via email and to be very wary of making payments over telephone calls too. There are now many safer mechanisms to pay. If you are in doubt, contact your local TaxAssist Accountants practices for a second opinion.