Scammers promising tax refunds and impersonating tax officers will be preying on the public this tax season.
The tax office and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning fraudsters making contact through email, text messages, phone calls or even face-to-face, will go to great lengths to impersonate tax officers.
Scam victims are told they have overpaid their tax and must pay an administration or transfer fee to reclaim funds.
Scammers may request personal information, such as a tax file number, with the intent to commit fraud.
ACCC acting chair Delia Rickard said government agencies would never ask people to provide personal information over the phone or email.
“In making a first impression, the caller will claim to represent a government agency and may trick you by reciting a key piece of your personal or financial information,” she said in a statement.
“It is important for consumers to keep their guard up as reclaim scams can be quite convincing.”
Australians have lost $300,000 to scams this year – $10,000 to the tax reclaim scam.
But, that number is expected to increase during tax time.
People are advised not to include their TFN on resumes, share personal information on social media or open email attachments from suspected scammers.
Anyone who thinks they may have been scammed should contact the ATO as soon as possible.