The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding individuals to remain vigilant against any scams that may pop up this year around tax time.
With over 37,000 scam attempts reported to the ATO this time, last year, individuals need to be wary of scam artists looking to trick taxpayers into either paying for fake debts or giving away their personal details.
Common scams include:
– The ‘fake tax debt’ phone scam
– ‘Fake refund’
– ‘Refund for a fee’
– Email and SMS contact – i.e., asking to click a link, download a file or open an attachment.
Avoid being caught out in a tax-related scam by following these simple measures:
Protect your personal details
Scammers can use an individual’s personal information (i.e., tax file number, full name, date of birth or passwords) to impersonate them. Protect your personal details by storing them in a safe and secure location.
Use correct payment methods
To avoid paying a scam artist for a false debt to a non-ATO related account, make sure you are aware of the proper avenues for paying legitimate debts to the Tax Office.
Avoid oversharing on social media
Scammers may also try to use any personal information you have published on social media sites to steal your identity.
Be cautious when receiving requests for personal details
Should you receive a request to confirm or clarify your personal information, it is always best to contact the ATO to check if the contact is valid or part of a scam.