Police issue warning after change to ATO scam, SA

Police in Adelaide and regional South Australia have received numerous reports of bogus callers claiming to represent the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and a recent report suggests new tactics are being used by scammers to fraudulently obtain money, according to SA Police.

Callers have typically demanded about $3,000, and threatened to contact police unless they received immediate payment.

In a recent case, a victim received a telephone call from a person purporting to be from the Australian Tax office (ATO), who indicating the victim had an outstanding debt to the ATO.

The victim was deceived into obtaining a cardless cash pin code through his banking phone app which provided approval for him to remove $300 from an ATM without the need to be in possession of his ATM card. The victim passed this information over the phone to scammer who subsequently attended an ATM and used the pin code to remove $300 from the victim’s account.

In some cases, callers have provided personal information, sourced from publicly-available records.

The caller’s number is not connected to the Australian Taxation Office.

Of the residents who have reported this scam to police, no one has forwarded money to the callers; however, all have claimed the callers to be threatening and demanding in their language.

It’s thought that people may be more susceptible to Tax Office scams as we approach the end of financial year.

Police are encouraging residents to spread the word, and discuss this scam with family and friends who may be less technologically-savvy.

Don’t forget, you can report suspected scams to SCAMwatch (the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) via www.scamwatch.gov.au

If you have incurred a financial loss resulting from a scam, you can also report via the ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network)