The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has reported an increasing number of scams targeting the community.
During July and August this year, the ATO received over 7000 scam reports to its dedicated phone line, with close to $190,000 paid to scammers in these two months alone.
“Unfortunately, we are now seeing examples of these scams evolving in new ways,” the ATO’s Charmaine Crocker said.
And there is a new version of the ATO Scam now doing the rounds.
“Scammers are calling victims and claiming to represent the ATO,” Crocker said.
“The scammer then conference-calls a second scammer who claims to work for the victim’s tax agent.
“Working together, the scammers try to convince the victim that an outstanding debt needs to be settled immediately, often through the use of gift cards, Bitcoin, or similar unorthodox methods.”
Crocker says to be vigilant of any suspicious phone calls, and warn friends and family to be aware of this scam, especially if they use a tax agent.
If you have any doubts about a call you receive, don’t hesitate to hang up and report it on 1800 008 540.