Tax Scam Hits the Hunter

Hunter residents have been warned that a taxation scam is doing the rounds across the region.

WARNING: Police are warning people not to fall for an Australian Taxation Office phone scam.

Hunter residents have been warned that a tax scam is doing the rounds across the region which includes the Central Coast.

According to NSW Police in an article published on the ATO website, fraudsters have contacted people by phone and tricked them into paying money.

“These scam artists wills call people on their landline or mobile and claim they work for the Australian Tax Office,” NSW Police Force fraud and cybercrime squad commander Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said.

“They tell the person they have an outstanding tax debt and that if they don’t pay up quickly they will be arrested, taken to court and fined.”

“The victim is told to make payment via the post office or Western Union to avoid prosecution.”

“By all account the offenders are quite convincing. Reports are widespread.”

There was an initial spike in this scam at the end of the financial year, but has re-emerged as the October 31 deadline for tax returns draws closer.

There have been 80 reported incidents of people targeted and losing money in the state this year and police have encouraged all victims of scammers to come forward.

“In particular, we would like to hear from anyone who has fallen victim to this scam,’ he said. Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

If  you are contacted by anyone purporting to be from the Australian Tax Office do the following:

  • Check with Fortunity as you registered tax agent whether you do owe tax;
  • Is the person on the phone acting in a threatening manner, if so hang up the phone and contact the ATO yourself; and
  • If you suspect it is a scam, report the matter to your local police station immediately.

More information about this scam can be found online at https://www.ato.gov.au/

 

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