Courtney Allan

Legal

Warning: Have you been stung by this ATO scam?

Warning: Have you been stung by this ATO scam?

An Australian Tax Office (ATO) scam has cost thousands of Australians almost a million dollars. The scam claims that you are about to be arrested over unpaid taxes and must immediately pay up.

The scam will start by a phone call made by a robot. They then threaten to arrest you because you have filed a dodgy tax return. If you call the number back, it will sound like it’s someone from the ATO.

If you’ve fallen for this scam, you’re not alone. Thousands of Australians have fallen victim to it in the last three months alone.

Kym Robertson, 49, received one of these phone calls. The number was tracked to a Victorian number which was able to receive phone calls.

“Normally when you ring back it says this number is no longer connected. This one you could ring back,” he told 9News.

“A Chinese lady said that me and my family were going to be investigated by the tax department.

“I said, ‘I don’t think you’re from the tax department.’

“She swore at me and told me to p*** off, and don’t call back the number ever again.”

The ATO has warned people that they do not project their number via caller ID.

“The ATO does not project our numbers using caller ID. You can be confident that if there is a number displayed in your caller ID, it isn't the ATO,” assistant tax commissioner Kath Anderson told Daily Mail Australia

“If a taxpayer is unsure whether a call is genuinely from the ATO, hang up and call the ATO's dedicated scam reporting line on 1800 008 54O,” an ATO spokeswoman said.

Have you fallen victim to this scam? What did you do? Let us know in the comments.