In the past few months there has been an increasing amount of scam calls relating to tax debts. While the ATO does chase up tax debts, they will normally contact you with a letter first and if they do call you it will be to arrange a payment plan, not your arrest.
How the Scam works
Scammers are threatening people and claiming there is a warrant out for their arrest due to late tax payments. Many people have reported that messages have been recorded on their answering machines asking them to call back later. See the tips below to see whether the call you receive is a scam or not:
- You are advised that there is a warrant for your arrest
- The callers use an aggressive tone, which may sound American or foreign.
- You are asked to make a payment without having received any prior advice or correspondence from the ATO.
What to do if you receive a call
If you receive one of these calls and you are worried that it might be a legitimate call about your tax debt, do not call the number provided on the message. Call the ATO directly on 13 28 61 to authenticate the call. Do not make any payment or hand over your bank details until you have authenticated the call.