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ATO warns over new scam targeting Australians

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is warning customers to be wary of emails and phone calls demanding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment for fake tax debts.

“We only became aware of it towards the end of 2017, it’s been about $50,000 paid in bitcoin to scammers that we’re aware of at this stage, and we’re expecting it to grow.” said ATO Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson.

Scammers pretending to be the ATO last year stole nearly $2.4 million from Australians with $900,000 of that in the form of iTunes gift cards.

Have you been targeted?


No but it sounds like a good scheme to get into.

Only once, a couple of years age. I was threatened with instant arrest for not paying a tax bill if I did not pay up immediately. I told them to F+++ off. This scam has been around for a long time. I can imagine that some people would be terrified and pay up, fortunately I subscribed to Hoax Slayer a the time and was aware of the many scams being perpetrated on the naive.

Makes one wonder just how many people would have bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies or gift cards to make a payment ?

Surely alarmbells would have to ring if you got a phone call or an email like that ??

I would pay them immediately, it could be real! Send monoply money! I just love kidding these scammers along for as long as possible(time allowing) and waste as much of their phone time as possible.

Has anyone ' seen' a bit coin? Can you stash them under the mattress like we all have with the $100 notes? Or does keeping them in your socks make more sense as then you could have a heavy weapon at hand when you deliver them to the spammer! :-)

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You will never see a is virtual currency.