Don't fall for tax-time scams

Tuesday, 16th May, 2017

The ATO is warning against scammers. Photo: Louie Douvis / ldz

TAX time is coming - and it can be a prime time for scam emails, SMS messages and phone calls claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office.

So the message is to be wary of anything claiming to be from the ATO because it could be a scam designed to trick you into paying money or providing personal information to unknown sources.

Scammers can look and sound very convincing, but you can generally tell they are not genuine because they offer you an unexpected refund or grant, and ask you to provide personal information, or pay a debt you know nothing about.

There are things to look out for when identifying scammers. Remember, the ATO will never:

  • Threaten you with immediate arrest.
  • Ask you to pay money in order to receive a refund or payment.
  • Ask you to pay a debt via iTunes gift card or other prepaid credit cards or vouchers.
  • Ask you to provide personal information like your bank account, tax file number or credit card number via email or SMS.
  • Ask you to pay money into a personal bank account.
  • Request your credit card details to process a payment on your behalf.
  • Direct you to download files from the internet, or open attachments in unsolicited emails.

If you think you have been scammed, phone the ATO on 1800-008-540 or Scamwatch on 1300-795-995. You should also contact your bank or financial institution if you think a scammer has your credit card details.

If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from the ATO, do not click on any links, open attachments or respond to the sender. Forward the entire email to without changing or adding any additional information, and delete from your inbox and send folder.

For information and some examples of tax scams to watch out for, visit and search for "How to verify or report a scam".

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