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Police Warn Locals of ATO Scammers

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Clare Police are warning Mid-North residents not to be fooled by an ATO scam following a local resident falling victim recently.

On Friday 19 February a Clare local received a call from a person stating they were from the Tax Department (ATO) and that they had numerous fraudulent bank accounts and threatened to seize their assets.

The Clare local did not believe the caller however, accidentally disclosed what town they were from.

Scammers then called the resident back from a number matching the Clare police station and the local followed instruction.

This resulted in the victim withdrawing a significant amount of money which was immediately transferred overseas and near impossible to recover,

Government agencies including SAPOL will never ask for payments or any sort of bank transaction over the phone.

Police are well aware of these national scams, which unfortunately have been running for some time.

If you aren't sure whether an ATO call is legitimate, hang up and phone them on 1800 008 540 to check.

The scammers will often call or leave a recorded message on your phone, advising of a tax debt and that if you don’t pay it straight away, you’ll be arrested.

The scammers will often:

  • threaten you with immediate arrest, jail or deportation.
  • insist you stay on the phone until a payment is made
  • use a fake caller ID of a phone number that appears legitimate

SAPOL are also seeing a recent trend in relation to ATO scams, with the scammers are moving away from gift cards and actually providing BSB and account details for victims to transfer the money the into.

Check the tips at www.ato.gov.au/scams to find out more about scammers’

methods and how you can tell if it’s really the ATO calling.

For more information about verifying or reporting an ATO scammer please visit: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Online-services/Identity-security/

SOURCE: SAPOL