If you receive a call from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) demanding money, firstly, it’s important not to panic and secondly, don’t pay the caller a cent.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has warned of an aggressive scam that has been doing the rounds for the last few months, but with tax time well and truly here, I now more likely to catch people out. Scammers are calling unwary Australians and threatening jail if a non-existent tax bill isn’t paid.
ATO second commissioner Geoff Leeper has said that the ATO will never cold call anyone demanding money. “We would never cold call you about a debt, we would never threaten jail or arrest, and our staff certainly wouldn’t behave in an aggressive manner,” he said.
The warning comes after an 81-year-old WA man, who looks after his sick wife, lost $110,000 to scammers demanding money, threatening jail and even telling the man his three children would lose their jobs. In WA alone, the scam has resulted in $157,000 reported loses.
If you do receive such a call, simply hang up and if you’re still concerned, call the ATO direct on 13 28 69.