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ATO warning! Telephone scammers are active

The ATO is warning the public to be aware of a phone scam that is again circulating where fraudsters are intimidating people into paying a fake tax debt over the phone. The aggressive scam attempts to force people to pay a fake tax debt over the phone by threatening arrest if they don’t comply.

Assistant Commissioner Thomas Ryan said that the ATO makes thousands of outbound calls to taxpayers per week, but would never contact taxpayers about a debt in this threatening manners, and urges people to protect their personal details.

“We take your privacy seriously.  We urge you to be alert to these types of scams and never send money or give your financial details to someone you don’t know and trust,” Mr Ryan said.

Generally the ATO would send an SMS or letter to remind you that a payment was due.  If we don’t get a response from this we would then call you to discuss payment.  If you do have a tax debt we encourage you to contact us early in 13 11 42 so we can discuss your circumstances,” Mr Ryan said.

If people receive a call from the ATO and are concerned about providing their personal information over the phone they should ask for the caller’s name and phone them back through the ATO’s switchboard on 13 28 69.

If people think they may have fallen victim to a scam, contact the ATO on 13 28 61from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

For more information and examples of recent scams, visit the ATO website: www.to.gov.au or www. scam watch.gov.au

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