On Tax Scams – Beware but Take Note!
Today, we had one of our clients phoned by a “representative” of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) concerning “fraudulent activity” relating to his tax returns and stating that a “petition notice” had been lodged against his file.
Our client was suspicious and immediately phoned our office as he was (naturally) a bit concerned about the matter. We indicated to him that this looked and sounded like a scam and we would check it out. On phoning the ATO, we were assured that this was in fact a scam and there was nothing to be concerned about with regard to our client’s affairs. We advised our client of this fact immediately after speaking with the ATO.
We also advised the Tax Office of the contact name and phone number as provided by the scammer and, hopefully, they will be receiving a “friendly” visit from the Australian Federal Police in the very near future.
If you receive phone contact direct from the ATO concerning your tax affairs, be highly suspicious – this is not their standard method of contacting a taxpayer. They will normally come through us (or your Registered Tax Agent) and contact will initially be made by letter. If you are contacted by phone regarding tax “irregularities”, make sure you get the name of the person calling and their phone number and let them know you will call them back as you are in a meeting. Let us (or the ATO) know immediately – the ATO contact number is 13 28 61. If you receive a suspicious email, forward it to the ATO at ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au
The scammers are scum and they deserve to have the full weight of the law applied to them.