Is It A Tax Scam?
Scammers are constantly looking for new and subversive ways to trick people into giving them their money.
Impersonating trusted organisations has become a common feature of scams being sent (email, phone or text).
Unfortunately, even the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is not safe from impersonation by fraudsters.
Social Media Scams
An alert released in January warns taxpayers to be vigilant about fake social media accounts impersonating employees, senior staff & the ATO itself.
These fake accounts ask users that interact with the ATO to send them a direct message so they can help with their enquiry. The people behind these fake accounts are trying to steal your personal information, including phone numbers, email addresses and bank account information.
The best way to verify that it’s really the ATO is to:
- check how many people follow the account. The ATO’s verified Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have over 200,000 followers, and their Twitter account has over 65,000 followers.
- check activity on the accounts. The ATO’s official social media channels have been operating for around 10 years – if it’s a newly created account, or only has a few posts, it’s not them.
- look for the grey tick next to the username (@ato_gov_au) on Twitter and the blue tick next to their name (Australian Taxation Office) on Facebook.
- make sure any email addresses provided to you end with ‘.gov.au’.
How To Identify A Scam
In the lead-up to the end of the financial year, be especially vigilant of potential tax scams lurking around you.
Some of the common features of a scam (depending on the type) are described below.
Thank you for reading!
Should you have any queries in regards to the above please contact our office on (03) 9728 1448
The TAS Team
3/653 Mountain Highway, Bayswater VIC 3153
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