The Northern Territory Police Cyber Crime Unit is urging people to be vigilant of scams during tax time.
Over the past few days police have received reports of scams where victims receive a recorded voice message via phone, Northern Territory Police say.
The messages advise the victim that they have been named in a court case regarding tax evasion. They are then advised if they don’t call back immediately an arrest warrant will be issued in their name and they will go to jail.
The callers will ask the victims to pay in unusual methods such as pre-paid Visa cards, iTunes cards or Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will never require payment by cards or Bitcoin.
Detective Sergeant Craig Windebank said the scammers rely on fear and aggressive tactics to convince the victim to make a decision before they can assess the validity of the phone call.
“To protect yourself from these scams, know the status of your tax affairs. If you are aware of the details of debts owed, refunds due and lodgements outstanding, you are less likely to fall victim to a scam.”
“You can regularly check your details via myGov or by contacting your registered tax agent. Do not participate in a three way call with a person whom the scammers claim is your tax agent,” he said.
If you are concerned you can call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to check if the call was legitimate or to report the scam.
If you have suffered a financial loss you can contact on police on 131444 or go to https://www.acorn.gov.au/.