It’s almost tax time which means the tax scammers are doing the rounds again.

How do you tell if someone is trying to scam you?

The ATO is currently aware of scammers who have been calling Australians claiming to be the Australian Tax Office or the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. During this call, Australians are being told that there is a warrant out for their arrest due to a failure to pay taxes and to avoid this, the scammers are demanding that money be transferred to the “ATO”. Many reports have come from people who have said that the scammers have even left messages on their answering machine, demanding they be called back during office hours. One of the numbers currently being used is 02 6100 3027, however, be aware that there are many others in use.

What is happening during this scam?

In order to collect money, the scammers are demanding that you wire transfer them the fees you “owe”. Once this money has been wired, it is almost impossible for it to be recovered. Some Australians are also being asked to provide bank details and other personal information. Once you supply this information, the scammers will be able to steal money from you and even commit identity fraud.

How do you avoid this scam?

If you receive a phone call of this nature, do not respond, immediately hang up the phone. If you are left a message of this nature from a caller claiming to be from a government department, find the contact details of the department yourself through either the phone book or from their official website, do not call them back on the number they leave you in the phone message. If you believe you have given your bank details to a scammer, or you are suspicious about the authenticity of a transaction, contact your bank or financial institution immediately so they can try to help you achieve the best outcome.

Make sure you report any scams

If you receive one of this fraudulent phone calls, make sure you report them to the ACCC. You can do so online through their SCAMwatch page or call them on 1300 795 995.

You can find out more about this scam and others like it on the SCAMwatch website.Tax Scams