As 31 October fast approaches, and many Australians who lodge their own tax return are clambering to meet the deadline, the ATO is warning the community to be on alert for fraudsters.
It is not uncommon to receive many spam e-mails these days, and most have an official “look and feel” to them by using current images of the ATO and other government organisations.
My advice when you receive any type of e-mail requesting information is to do the following:
- Do not click on any links
- Do not reply to the e-mail
- Look for spelling and grammar mistakes
- If you think it is genuine, try to contact the organisation by phone instead
Apparently the latest scheme going around is nasty phone calls, supposedly from the ATO, where the taxpayer is threatened with arrest if they do not pay a fake tax debt over the phone!
Please, please, please be careful, and make sure you discuss any incidents with your family and friends to make them aware. You can also report the scam to the ATO, details on how, can be found here.
Your state or territory consumer affairs website will also provide some great advice on recognising and avoiding scammers, I’ve included the Victorian link here.
Stay safe xo