Tax Time Scam Awareness

Do you need to submit a tax return this year? If you do, make sure you lodge it with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by 31 October 2023. While the ATO is busy processing returns, scammers are also keeping busy coming up with ways to con people out of their money.

Scammers are getting craftier every year. This financial year, be aware of scammers impersonating the ATO. Be aware of unsolicited emails and never click on links in emails or text messages.

The ATO may sometimes contact you by phone, email, SMS and post, but it will never ask for personal account information, like your bank account details, or ask you to verify your identity over the phone or via a link, email, text messages or social media.

Scammers use many different techniques to gain access to people’s personal bank accounts and often claim to be from a Government agency. The ATO will never ask you to make payment of a tax bill over the phone, and will never ask for your credit card details.

So, how can you protect yourself this tax time?

  • Change your password. Consider changing your password regularly, and using two-factor authentication, such as a password and code sent to your email or mobile phone.
  • Keep your money safe. Never process a payment or transaction over the phone where you did not initiate the contact.
  • Initiate contact yourself. If in doubt, contact the ATO directly on 1800 008 540 to check if the contact is legitimate.
  • Report it. If it sounds like an obvious scam, it probably is. Report it to the ATO through its verify or report a scam page to help keep others safe. You can also report it through DVA on the avoiding and reporting a suspect scam page to keep the veteran community informed.

Need more information? The ATO has lots of information and resources on identity security and scams to keep you safe this tax time, and throughout the year.