ATO Phone Scam is Back

The ATO scammers are back doing the rounds once again, targeting elderly residents with threats of legal action and arrest.

The automated call, with a robotic man’s voice on the other end of the line, claims to come from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The recording goes something like this:

” … from Australian Taxation Office, and your reference number is TX6972 as there is legal case going to be filed against your name including warrant for your arrest.

“Now before the case is sent for execution, and you receive the legal course of notification, you can call the taxation office on 02 8006 7570. The number again 02 8006 7570.

“Don’t ignore.”

An internet search of the number found others who’ve received the same call recently.

“Threatening call demanding I return call to another telephone number advising that I had tax unpaid and it was a criminal matter and I would be arrested unless I called back,” one person said.

According to the real ATO, this latest scam follows a similar one which ran in March.

A voicemail of that scam said:

“This call is just to inform you that there has been a lawsuit filed against your name concerning a tax evasion and this case is about to get registered in the Commonwealth Courthouse of your territory.

“So before the things go wrong against you or before the police officer from the local police department will approach you and issue a warrant for your arrest, kindly call us back on our call back number which is 02 8317 3564.

“I repeat, my telephone number again which is 02 8317 3564.”

“Again this is Jason O’Connor from the Australian Taxation Office. Thank you and you have a wonderful day.”

ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said the latest scams were nothing original and were simply rehashing old tactics.

“It seems that every time we shut one operation down, another operation opens up,” Ms Anderson said.

How to protect yourself from scams:

  • If you receive a phone call or email out of the blue from someone claiming to be from the Commonwealth DPP or Australian Taxation Office telling you about an arrest warrant, hang up.
  • If you have any doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a government department, contact the body directly.
  • Don’t rely on numbers, email addresses or websites provided by the caller — find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
  • Never send money via wire transfer to anyone you do not know or trust.
  • Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
  • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

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