The ATO warns of aggressive telephone tax scam

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Red flags that can cause an ATO audit
November 22, 2015
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The ATO warns of aggressive telephone tax scam

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The ATO has recently issued a warning about an aggressive tax scam which has affected many Australians. Scammers are calling taxpayers and falsely claiming to be the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) or a representative of the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Scammers are threatening people and claiming there is a warrant out for their arrest due to late tax payments. Many people have reported that messages have been recorded on their answering machines asking them to call back later. Scammers typically ask for money to be sent via wire transfer as it’s nearly impossible to recover money sent this way. They may also ask for people’s financial and other personal details to access their money and use this information to commit other scams.

How the scam works:

You receive a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions or the Australian Taxation Office.
The call may sound like it is an automated message with an American accent. The caller or sender will claim that you have an arrest warrant for some reason.
The scammer will ask you to telephone a number that appears to be Australian but is likely to be a VOIP number.
One of the numbers reported is 02 6100 3027. This is not the correct number for the CDPP
The scammer will tell you that in order to resolve the matter you will need to pay a fee. You may also be asked to provide your bank account details or other personal information so they can confirm they have the right person.
If you send any money via wire transfer, you will never see it again – it’s nearly impossible to recover money sent this way.
You will also never receive the promised rebate or refund. If you provide your bank account details or other personal information, the scammer may use it to commit identity theft or to steal your money.

Be on guard, if you receive a phone call from someone saying you have an arrest warrant and asking you to pay a fee, hang up and do not respond. If in doubt, contact the ATO directly. You can also report scams online via SCAMwatch.

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