You should be wary of emails, faxes, SMS and phone calls claiming to be from the ATO.
These could be scams designed to trick you into paying money or providing personal information.
Once they have your information, scammers may use it to:
- access your bank accounts
- take out loans in your name
- lodge false tax returns or BAS statements
- claim Centrelink or other benefits.
If you think you are a victim of a tax-related scam, phone us on 1800 008 540 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday). You should do this as soon as possible.
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 ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au without changing or adding any additional information and delete from your inbox and sent folder.
The ATO will never:
- threaten you with immediate arrest
- ask you to pay money to receive a refund or payment from us
- ask you to pay a debt via iTunes vouchers, or pre-paid credit card or store gift cards
- ask you to provide personal information, such as your tax file number (TFN) or credit card number, via email or SMS
- ask you to pay money into a personal bank account
- direct you to download files from the internet, or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
Example: Phone scam – tax fraud
You receive a call or voice message from a person saying they are from the ATO. They advise that you have committed tax fraud and as a result, now have a tax debt. They tell you there is a warrant for your immediate arrest unless you arrange for immediate payment.
The scammer tells you to buy iTunes cards, a pre-paid visa card, or department store gift cards as a form of payment. They may also request you pay funds into a personal bank account.