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What to look out for to ensure you’re not falling victim.

Have you received emails, phone calls or letters from the Australian Tax Office, demanding payments for outstanding tax bills using iTunes cards? Be careful, these could be part of a new sophisticated tax scam defrauding Australians.

Typically, when emails are used as correspondence, these emails contain links to fake websites that look remarkably genuine and may have attachments containing system-corrupting Malware or, in some cases, “Ransomware” which seeks payment for unlocking access to your own computer files.

Little can be done to stop scams such as these, with the criminals responsible often being based offshore and using techniques that are near-on impossible to trace by local authorities.

As your authorised Tax Agent, contact from the ATO about your taxation affairs should always come via our office. In particular the Australian Tax Office DOES NOT make phone calls soliciting payments for outstanding debt without first writing to taxpayers. Should you receive any direct contact purporting to be from the ATO, notify us immediately and we will work to verify it as genuine. Alternatively you can take matter up directly with the ATO in 1800 008 540.

Under NO circumstances should you pay an alleged Tax Debt without establishing its validity with us first.

Follow the link here to read the Tasmanian Police Media release. Follow the link here to read the Australian Tax Office Media Release.

If you have any queries or concerns or feel you may have been caught up in this scam, feel free to contact one of the Geelong based Tax specialists at The Hrkac Group.