Warning: Identify theft scams
The ATO expects to see another spike in scams this tax time, including those that aim to obtain personal data in order to access bank accounts and superannuation.
ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said last year more than 37,000 scam attempts were reported to the ATO during tax time.
“While many people were alert and didn’t fall for the scams, hundreds handed over a total of more than $630,000 and thousands handed over their personal details,” said Ms Anderson.
Ms Anderson said organised crime groups use a range of tactics to trick taxpayers that include asking them to click on a link to divulge their login, personal or financial information or to download a file or open an attachment which enables them to access data.
“Once they have your data, they can either sell it or use it to impersonate you for financial gain,” she said.
“Besides selling it to organised crime groups, identity thieves can use your data to do things like getting a loan or commit fraud in your name, access your bank account and shop using your credit card, access your myGov account, steal your superannuation or sell your house.”
While the most common scam continues to be the ‘fake tax debt’ phone scam, she said, the ATO is seeing an increase in fake refund or refund-for-a-fee scams, and email and SMS scams enticing people to click a hyperlink, download a file or open an attachment.
“While handing over money is a concern, we are just as concerned about people handing over personal or financial information,” she said.
19 July 2018