Tax Scam Scares People Out of their Money by Benjie de Ubago

Many have received unexpected calls from a person stating that he is from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). The caller says you owe the ATO money and that there is a warrant for your immediate arrest for non-payment.

The caller states payment is required immediately to avoid arrest. The caller then goes on to warn that your bank accounts may be frozen if payment is not made immediately.

The caller sounds very intimidating and in some cases will claim that your phone is being monitored so that you should not call anyone. The caller claims that you need to immediately make the payment owed via a money transfer company or cash deposit into a bank account. The caller may insist that they stay on the phone while you make the bank transfer to complete the payment.

The above scenario is a scam, please refer to warnings from SCAMWatch:

(https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news/telephone-calls-alleging-fake-arrest-warrants-used-to-scam-money), Commonwealth Director of Public

Prosecutions (http://www.cdpp.gov.au/news/alert-hoax-cdpp-phone-calls/) and Tax Office (https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Online-services/In-detail/Online-security/How-to-verify-or-report-a-scam/#Mobilephonescams)

Unfortunately, once you have sent the money or made the payment you’ve just become a victim of a scam that is happening across the country, known as the “Tax scam.” This scam involves bogus calls from individuals claiming to be from the Australian Tax office, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) or other Government offices.

“Criminals often target seniors, but in reality, anyone of any age can be a target of a scam,” says Mr. Wayne Howarth, Regional Fraud Risk Manager Asia Pacific Western Union (http://www.westernunion.com).

“Awareness is the best defense against consumer fraud,” continues Mr. Howarth “Scams can be very convincing, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind before you rush to send money.”

Howarth recommends you follow the tips below to avoid becoming a victim of the Tax Scam or other scams:

  1. Never send money to an individual for the payment of tax charges or fees
  2. Never send money to an individual you have not met in person.
  3. Never send money to claim a lottery, prize winnings or compensation payment
  4. Never send money for an employment opportunity
  5. Never send money for internet purchases
  6. Never send money to a grandchild, friend or family member for an emergency situation you have not personally confirmed.
  7. If you did send a money transfer through Western Union, and then realize that it was for a scam, contact the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 1800 812 023. If the transaction has not been picked up, it will be refunded to you.
  8. For more information on scams or for more tips on how to help protect you from scams visit >

https://www.westernunion.com/au/en/fraudawareness/fraud-home.html

Updated: 11/02/2015 — 17:55:10