ATO Tax Scams are still happening, says…
Mark Krywienko, New clients manager, Chan & Naylor Australia
I recently received two calls from two different people both claiming to represent the Australian Tax Office. Do not be fooled, these are clearly a SCAM and should be deleted.
Call 1 script
…’Taxation office, the reason we are calling is just to inform you that we have received a legal complaint against your name regarding a tax avoidance, tax evasion.
Before we go and take this matter to the legal common law court and before we issue a warrant for your arrest.
Kindly call us back on the number you can reach us is 02 6952 8662, I repeat the number 02 6952 8662.
Do not disregard this message and do return the call as soon as possible.
Again this is James Appleton from the Australian Taxation Office’.
Call 2 script
‘Australian tax office representing the CDPP that is the Commonwealth Director of Public and Prosecutions at Canberra ACT.
There is a legal case filed against your name for tax evasion and tax avoidance.
I want you or your retain lawyer to get back to us immediately on our call back number that is 02 8317 3182 I repeat the call back number for the headquarters of the Australian Tax Office Legal Department is 02 8317 3182.
This is officer Kenneth Mathews and kindly get back to us immediately as this is a time centred matter.
Do not ignore this message.
Thank you and good-bye.’
Here are some areas to look out for:
Does it sound like a local or an overseas call?
- In both of these recordings, they sound like they may be an overseas call with distorted sound quality.
Do an independent internet search for the name of the individual to find out if others have received similar calls.
- When I Googled both these names, James Appleby and Kenneth Mathews there were numerous responses by other people that had received similar scam calls from these so called persons.
Check the phone number to see if this is indeed an Australian number.
- 02 6952 8662 may be a Canberra number as the 02 6xxx xxxx is a legitimate Canberra pre-fix
- 02 8317 3182 may be a Sydney number.
- Do an internet search on both of these numbers and again you will receive responses by people that had received similar scam calls.
- The phone number will usually be a Skype (or similar) number (non Telstra) which can be located anywhere in the world.
Listen to the wording used in the script and the names used, do they sound legitimate?
- e.g. Commonwealth Director of Public AND Prosecutions – there is no AND in this Govt Department name https://www.cdpp.gov.au/
- Do the very english sounding names of Appleby and Mathews really sound like the accents of the persons talking?
Both the above phone calls come under ‘Example 2’ of the ATO Phone Scam examples – To find out more about how to protect yourself from telephone scams, the Australia Government has a number of sites that have further information.
I have selected the following three:
- ATO – https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Online-services/In-detail/Online-security/How-to-verify-or-report-a-scam/
- Government Scamwatch – https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news/telephone-calls-alleging-fake-arrest-warrants-used-to-scam-money
- Department of Human Services – https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/scams