The ATO has received increasing reports of a new take on the ‘fake tax debt’ scam, whereby scammers are now impersonating registered tax agents to lend legitimacy to their phone call.
The fraudsters do this by coercing the victim into revealing their agents name and then initiating a three-way phone conversation between the scammer, the victim and another scammer impersonating the victim’s registered tax agent or someone from the agent’s practice.
As the phone conversations with the scammers appeared legitimate and the victims trusted the advice of the scammer ‘tax agent’ victims have been falling for this new approach.
The ATO is reminding taxpayers that they will never:
- Demand immediate payments
- Threaten them with arrest; or
- Request payment by unusual means, such as ITunes vouchers, store gift cards or Bitcoin.
Taxpayers are advised that if they are suspicious about a phone call from someone claiming to be the ATO, then they should disconnect and call the ATO or their tax agent to confirm the status of their tax affairs and verify the call.