Be Alert for Scams
We have seen a dramatic rise in the number of scam attempts on our clients in the form of:
• ATO Debt scams
• Fake Medicare Scams
• ASIC scams
As a simple rule, if you are getting threatening phone calls, text messages or emails demanding payment from a government agency, or offering you free money, it’s likely to be a scam. They are increasingly sophisticated – read below about how they can make their phone calls appear to come from genuine ATO numbers.
If you receive a demand for payment please either check your MyGov account or contact us so that we can check the ATO tax agent portal. Read below for more details.
Fake Medicare SMS
Scammers are sending SMS messages pretending to be from medicare and telling people they are owed a rebate of over $200. The text encourages people to click a link to a website and share their personal details.
If you have received an SMS like this, please do not click on the link or repsond to the sender. You should report it to Scam Watch and delete the message/block the number.
Medicare and Centrelink may send you text messages, however they do not ask people to:
• send personal information by email or SMS
• transfer money
• provide passwords or PIN numbers to bank accounts
• click on links or download files from the internet or email attachments
• pay a fee to receive a payment or service
Imitating ATO Switchboard Numbers
There is a rise in reports of scammers pretending to be from the ATO and claiming that there are outstanding tax debts. They threaten people with arrest if the debt is not paid immediately.
The number they call from may appear to be legitimate, but it’s important to remember that a real ATO caller will never:
• threaten you with arrest
• demand immediate payment, particularly through unusual means such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards
• refuse to allow you to speak with a trusted advisor or your regular tax agent
• or present a phone number on caller ID
Never call a scammer back. Hang up immediately and if there was any doubt, phone the ATO on 1800 008 540 to check if the call was legitimate or report a scam.
Scams Targeting ASIC Customers
Scammers pretending to be from ASIC have been contacting Registry customers asking them to pay fees and give personal information to renew their business or company name.
These emails often have a link that provides an invoice with fake payment details or infects your computer with a virus if you click the link.
An email is probably a scam and is not from ASIC if it asks you:
• to make a payment over the phone
• to make a payment to receive a refund
• for your credit card or bank details directly by email or phone
ASIC will only issue a renewal notice 30 days before your renewal date. You can also search for your business name on the register and if it’s outside of the 30 days, it is probably a scam.
Forward any suspicious email to: [email protected]