ATO Impersonation Scam Update

Unbelievably, scammers are still successfully bilking Australians out of tens of thousands of dollars, as a recent ATO scam report shows.

According to the July 2019 ATO impersonation scam report:

  • 6,179 online scam reports were received in the first month of their new online reporting form going live;
  • 6,645 phone scam reports were officially recorded (a small increase of 200 from June);
  • 465 phishing scam emails were reported to;
  • 520 taxpayers provided scammers with their personal identifying information including date of birth, tax file number, driver’s licence number and notice of assessment details;
  • $197,057 was reported as being paid to scammers (a 43% increase from June), with Google Play reporting the highest total paid to scammers, averaging $5,740 per payment (compared to iTunes which averaged $3,160); and
  • people aged 25 to 34 paying the highest amount to scammers, mostly by iTunes and  Google Play.

Reporting scams
As noted above, it is now possible to report an ATO impersonation scam to the ATO on their website, using their new online ‘report a scam form’.
The new online form is another way to report a scam, but only if the taxpayer:

  • has not paid the scammer;
  • has not provided personal identifying information to the scammer; and
  • has not been contacted by email or SMS.

The ATO is still offering the 1800 008 540 scam reporting hotline number as a way to verify the legitimacy of an ATO interaction, and victims who have paid or provided personal identifying information to scammers should report by phoning the hotline.

Refer ATO website, 9 September 2019