Tell-tale signs of a tax scam

Life’s busier than ever for small business owners. Scammers hope you’re too busy to check what they’re saying so you’ll hand over your personal or financial information.

While the ATO is supporting you through the COVID-19 (coronavirus) environment, scammers are trying to steal your money or identity while you’re most vulnerable.

Look out for these tell-tale signs of tax scams if you get a suspicious call, message or request.

The ATO will never:

  • send an email or SMS with a hyperlink to our online services such as myGov

  • request personal identifying information via a return email unless you’ve agreed to engage with us this way

  • threaten you with immediate arrest and insist you stay on the line until you make a payment

  • prevent you from discussing your tax affairs with your registered tax professional

  • request payment of a debt via iTunes, Google Play cards or other vouchers, cryptocurrency, cardless cash transfer, offshore wire transfer or into a bank account not held by the Reserve Bank of Australia

  • ask you to pay a fee to receive a refund.

If you’re ever unsure about an ATO communication, do not reply. Phone the ATO scam hotline on 1800 008 540, visit, or speak to your agent or trusted adviser.


Source : ATO Small business newsroom May 2020 

Reproduced with the permission of the Australian Tax Office. This article was originally published on

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