The fraudsters do this by:
- coercing the victim into revealing their tax agent's name, and
- initiating a three-way phone conversation between the scammer, the victim, and another scammer impersonating the victim's registered agent or someone from the agent's business.
Victims have fallen for this new approach. In one recent example, a victim withdrew thousands of dollars in cash and deposited it into a Bitcoin ATM, fearing Police had a warrant out for their arrest. The phone conversation with the scammers appeared legitimate, and the victim trusted the advice of the scammer 'tax agent'.
The ATO will never:
- demand immediate payments
- threaten you with arrest
- request payment by unusual means such as iTunes vouchers, store gift cards or Bitcoin cryptocurrency
If you are suspicious about a phone call from someone claiming to be the ATO or another person from our accounting business who you do not know, we recommend you immediately disconnect and call 1800 008 540 to verify the call.
Alternatively, simply hang up the call and contact the team at Collins Hume in Ballina or Byron Bay on 02 6686 3000 to directly confirm the status of your tax affairs.