ATO Scams - Protect Your Personal Information

Jun 20, 2016

As we enter tax season, we would like to warn you that a number of tax related scams are currently doing the rounds. The scams are of differing levels of sophistication - generally advising that you either have an unexpected refund or an outstanding tax debt and then asking you to transfer money, provide personal information and/or credit card or banking details.

Signs that the correspondence is not from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) include:

  • reference to debts or refunds that you know nothing about;
  • caller is aggressive; and
  • the call includes threats that you will be arrested and sent to jail if you don’t pay immediately.

The ATO provides services that allow you to verify correspondence:

  • Phone calls: ask the caller for their full name and extension number and their team leader's full name and extension number. You can call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to verifiy that the caller is from the ATO.
  • Email / SMS: Do not open any attachments or links. You can report the email to the ATO by forwarding the whole email to or call them on 1800 008 540.

If you get a call, email or text that appears to be suspicious, please be vigilant and contact your tax advisor so they can verify whether it is genuinely from the ATO.