How to spot a tax scam

Scammers go to extraordinary lengths to impersonate trusted organisations, like the ATO. They create fake login webpages for government services and send emails that look and sound like something the ATO might send.

The ATO is also concerned about a high volume of SMS scams pretending to be from the ATO.

These scams tell you that you’re owed an income tax repayment and ask you to click a hyperlink and complete a form.

Clicking the link takes you to a fake ATO webpage that asks for your personal identifying information, including your credit card details.

But there are always a few details that can give away a scam.

How to spot a tax or super scam

The real ATO will never:

  • ask for your personal information on social media platforms. Always make sure you engage with the ATO’s verified accounts, and never give out your personal identifying information on social media, like your TFN or bank account/ credit card details.
  • request payment of a tax debt through gift cards, cryptocurrency or cardless cash.
  • send you a link to log in to our online services in an email or text message. This is a tactic scammers use to harvest information so the ATO will never include these in their communications.
  • threaten you with immediate arrest. If this happens, report the incident to the ATO.

It’s very important to be wary of tax and super scams. Make sure you update your devices with the latest software and apply multi-factor authentication to all business devices.

Being vigilant of the warning signs and taking the time to protect yourself might just save you and your business from falling into a scammer’s trap.

If you’re ever unsure whether an SMS or email is really from the ATO, don’t reply. Phone the ATO on 1800 008 540 to check.

Check out the ACCC’s Scamwatch website for helpful tips and resources.

Contact our KMT advisers if you need tax assistance!

Reference: ATO website

Check out KMT Free Resources to download tax guides and deductible checklist.

This is general advice only and does not take into account your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. Before making any decision based on this document, you should assess your own circumstances or professional advice from a qualified accountant at KMT Partners.