Beware the end-of-season Tax Scammers
Please be mindful of ‘tax agent impersonators’ conning victims to pay fake debts. If in doubt contact your local ITP consultant or the ATO.
We’ve all heard of someone who’s received one of those notorious tax scamming phone calls. Maybe you’ve received one yourself? In the moment, they’re quite sickening. You’re caught off guard, your scam radar is down, and like a moth to a flame you’re trusting a well-versed routine designed to scare the living daylight-dollars out of you.
Hopefully (for the most of us), we’ll never get that call or be fooled into handing anything over except perhaps an uncensored ‘thanks, but no thanks’.
But as everything evolves, and we become smarter, so do the scammers. The latest evolution of the species (v. 2018) sees an attempt to elicit information from you about your tax agent, in conjunction with reminding you that you have an urgent tax debt to pay. The difference this time is that the new scam follows up with a three-way phone call (including you), which now supposedly includes your tax agent, who of course is now supporting the debt scam. On paper, two scammers verse one victim could easily be more convincing, if not intimidating. Read the full Sydney Morning Herald article here.
Sadly, scammers in all walks, will always be part of our world and every year they will adopt new ways to pray on the uncertain and willing. In terms of tax, our rule of thumb is to always have a close affiliation with your local ITP consultant (and store) and always ask us for professional advice on any matter that either intimidates or confuses you. We’re here all year round, so float with us any questions you might have either by phone, email or even in person. (Of course, we also encourage you to contact the ATO if you need a second opinion or that extra peace of mind.)
For those who have already completed your return, we still remind you to be ever resilient to these timeless scams. For those yet to complete their return(s), be sure to get in before the season finishes and share any unusual experiences you have with your friends and family. The more we know, the more we save ourselves from the scammers – literally.
End-of-season prediction: Scammers 0, ITP Qld 1.