Every year thousands of Australians fall victim to tax related scams.
Fraudsters prey on un-assuming Australians, their preferred method is via telephone (causing a great deal of havoc for accounting firms Melbourne).
Generally, the fraudsters will impersonate ATO personnel and will work to gain control of the victim.
Control generally asserted via fear, the fraudsters will create an atmosphere of intensity and that of urgency.
The fraudster will usually try to gain the confidence of the fraudster by revealing information about the fraudster or manipulating the victim into believing they do in fact work for the Australian Taxation Office.
After the fraudster gains the trust of the victim, the fraudsters then begin the process of extracting funds from the victims, this is done via a variety of methods.
Fear is instilled in the victim by the fraudsters, generally caused by the claim the victim has committed errors in their tax return or the victim has outstanding debts to the ATO.
Threats such as bankruptcy and the ATO are usually given in an attempt to induce the victim into compliance.
Once the victim believes they owe money to the ATO, the victim will do either 1 of two things:
1: Ask for further verification the Fraudster does in fact work for the ATO, or become suspicious/aware that they are in fact being scammed.
2: Want to pay the funds to avoid penalties/fines.
Thankfully most victims are in the former category, however there are still many Australian’s who take option two.
Option two will usually entail the fraudsters to take the victims credit card details to debit the transaction or have the victim transfer the funds to an un-trackable account such as an itunes account or a TAB betting account.
ATO will never ask for payments into itunes accounts or threaten action against property etc.
If you are unsure, please contact your local accounting firm Melbourne for assistance, or provide the scammer with your accountant’s phone number.
Your accountant will be able to verify whether the information is correct by checking your ATO tax portal against the fraudsters claim/tax returns.