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How to Identify Scammers This Tax Time

13th July 2022

As many of you may already be aware, tax time is go-time for scammers. There are numerous opportunities for scammers and hackers to make a lucrative amount of money by exploiting those who aren't properly armed against them.

Throughout tax time, people are often operating on a tight deadline and are conscious of the legal ramifications of late submissions or making mistakes on their returns. Don’t let this be you. 

It's important to keep your head on a swivel, with scammers constantly growing their repertoire of tricks and tools to try and part you with your hard earned money or confidential details. The first step is being able to recognise what a scam looks like so you can identify and avoid them.

Here's a couple of tricks scammers will use to try and worm their way into your brain and bank account. 

  1. Scammers may threaten you or demand you make immediate payments, whereas an official government agency will never demand an immediate payment or threaten you with arrest or seizing of assets. If a caller demands that you pay before the completion of the phone call or threatens you with penalties for hanging up then it is definitely a scam caller trying to get their mitts on your money. 

  2. Scammers may send you emails or text messages with hyperlinks asking you to log in or link services. The ATO may contact you via these channels but will never ask you to share sensitive information via text or email, and they won't ever send you links to sites via message, so don't EVER click on a link in a text message or email unless it is from someone you know and trust. 

  3. Scammers may include third parties in calls or discussions such as fake tax agents or law professionals. They do this in an attempt to make their advice seem more credible and the scam more convincing as well as adding more of a fear factor. Official government services will never involve a third party in confidential discussions or threaten you with legal repercussions on the spot. 

  4. Scammers may request payment through unusual means, such as, retail gift vouchers, cash delivered via courier, offshore wire transfer or cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin and ethereum). Government organisations such as the ATO, will never ask for you to pay in unusual ways or to personal accounts. If the payment method that you've been asked to use is out of the ordinary then it likely is a scammer you're dealing with. 

If you're suspicious of the caller or message that you've received, the best thing to do is simply not to respond. Report all potential scams that you see to the ATO so they can best protect others from being parted with their money. 

Speaking of being best protected, King IT can help if you're feeling worried this tax period. We can keep your money and data safe from scammers with software and solutions to suit your needs, so pop in store today if you want to show those pesky scammers the door.