If you receive a call from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) demanding money, firstly, it’s important not to panic and secondly, don’t pay the caller a cent.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has warned of an aggressive scam that has been doing the rounds for the last few months. Scammers are calling unwary Australians and threatening jail if a non-existent tax bill is not paid.
ATO commissioner Geoff Leeper said that the ATO will never cold call anyone demanding money. “We would never cold call you about a debt; we would never threaten jail or arrest, and our staff certainly wouldn’t behave in an aggressive manner,” he said.
The warning comes after an 81-year-old WA man, who looks after his sick wife, lost $110,000 to scammers demanding money, threatening jail and even telling the man his three children would lose their jobs. In WA alone, the scam has resulted in $157,000 reported losses.