Tax-time warning about scams

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
  • Warning about scam calls and emails pretending to be from government agencies
  • Hang up on calls threatening arrest and demanding payment via unusual methods
  • Never share myGov password and PIN with anyone
  • Consumer Protection is warning WA consumers to be alert to tax scams, which are most prevalent around the end of the financial year.

    So far this financial year (1 July 2021 to 20 June 2022), nine victims have reported losing a total of $47,100 with 60 reports received. In 2021, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) received more than 50,000 reports of tax scams, with more than $800,000 in losses.

    Most victims reporting to WA ScamNet at Consumer Protection were targeted by phone calls and voicemail messages, with scammers pretending to be from a government agency threatening arrest unless a bogus tax debt was paid. A variety of payment methods were requested, including bank transfer, cash bank deposits, gift cards, prepaid credit cards or cryptocurrencies.

    Fake emails claiming to be from myGov spruiking ‘outstanding refunds’ were another way taxpayers were targeted.

    Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said the phishing emails were an attempt by scammers to steal banking and personal information.

    “Recipients are urged to click on a link to apply for the money to be returned to them. In reality, they will likely be taken to a cloned myGov website operated by the scammers that asks them to input their login and financial details,” Mr Newcombe said.

    “Our data shows that tax scam attempts usually peak between July and December when consumers are submitting their tax returns, so some people might not think it’s unusual to be contacted about refunds and debts at this time.

    “The best way to protect yourself if you receive one of these emails is to delete it – we never recommend opening or clicking on links in emails or messages you aren’t expecting to receive.

    “Always check the sender’s email address is legitimate and never share your myGov sign-in details with anybody.”

    Advice to avoid falling victim:

    Phishing emails

    • Don’t open or click on links in suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam) or text messages – delete them

    /Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.