Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details.
Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across Australia, so it’s important to stay alert and know how to protect yourself from being scammed.
ATO urges vigilance following the new scams approach
The ATO is urging taxpayers to be vigilant following an increase in reports of fake websites offering to provide tax file numbers (TFN) and Australian business numbers (ABN) for a fee but failing to provide the service.
The fake TFN and ABN services are often advertised on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The advertisements offer to obtain a TFN or ABN for a fee. Instead of delivering this service, the scammer uses these fraudulent websites to steal both money and personal information.
In 2021, more than 50,000 people reported ATO impersonation scams with victims losing a total of more than $800,000.
Tips to protect yourself from scammers
The ATO proposes a number of tips to protect yourself from scammers.
Know your tax affairs – You will be notified about your tax debt before it is due. Check if you have a legitimate debt owed by logging into your myGov account via an independent search or by calling your tax agent if you have one (on a phone number sourced independently).
Guard your personal and financial information – Be careful when clicking on links, downloading files or opening attachments in emails and SMS text messages. Only give your personal information to people you trust and don’t share it on social media.
If you are unsure, don’t engage – If a call, SMS or email leaves you wondering if it is genuine, don’t reply. Instead, you should phone the ATO’s dedicated scam line 1800 008 540 to check if it is legitimate. You can also verify or report a scam online at ato.gov.au/scams. You can also visit ScamWatch to get information about scams (not just tax scams).
Know legitimate ways to make payments – Scammers may use threatening tactics to trick their victims into paying fake debts via unusual methods. For example, they might demand pre-paid gift cards or transfers to non-ATO bank accounts. To check that a payment method is legitimate, visit ato.gov.au/howtopay.
Talk to your family and friends about scams – If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a tax-related scam, call the ATO as soon as you can.
If a company contacts you to offer investment opportunities or a loan, be wary. It could be a scam.
You can use Money Smart list of unlicensed companies to know which companies to avoid.
‘KMT Partners’ vs ‘KMT Finance’
It has come to our attention that a company with a very similar name to ours is cold calling to offer loans, or emailing to ask for financial information. They call themselves ‘KMT Finance’. This is not us.
KMT Partners is a Chartered Accounting Firm based in Adelaide. Our team of qualified accountants and licensed financial advisers provide accounting, tax, business and wealth advisory services. We do not offer loans or any lending services.
Please do not give away your personal information to contacts or businesses that you don’t trust. Stay safe!