Beware: there has been a spike in automated scam calls impersonating the Australian Taxation Office.
Scammers are calling people to claim the ATO has suspended their tax file number due to suspected fraudulent activity.
Targets are then asked to transfer their money to ‘the ATO’ (i.e. the scammers) so the tax office can protect their money while the matter is resolved.
The ATO said that while it does call taxpayers, it would never:
send unsolicited pre-recorded phone messages
use aggressive behaviour or threaten you with arrest
suspend your TFN
request direct transfers of money to a personal bank account
project the ATO’s number onto your caller ID
The ATO said that if you receive a call, email or SMS and aren’t sure who’s contacting you, “it’s OK to hang up or not respond”.
Instead, phone the ATO’s dedicated scam line 1800 008 540 to check if the contact was legitimate.