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'Threatening' ATO impersonation scam targets locals

Scam warning: If you get this call from someone (or a computer-generated voice) saying they're from the ATO — hang up immediately.
Scam warning: If you get this call from someone (or a computer-generated voice) saying they're from the ATO — hang up immediately. APN PHOTO LIBRARY

POLICE have received a large volume of calls from the public regarding a phone scam involving intimidation and threats of arrest.

The ATO impersonation scam involves members of the community receiving a phone call from the Australian Federal Police stating a warrant has been taken out for their arrest regarding non-payment of an Australian Taxation Office fine.

Reports state the caller is quite demanding and some have suggested they are quite threatening in their tone. During the calls the victims are told to pay the fine or risk being arrested.

"I would like to commend those people who have come forward in relation to this scam," Acting Detective Inspector Brad Hallett of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said.

"The AFP will not contact you in this way, and the ATO will never ask for direct payment over the telephone. Whilst I can understand it is quite intimidating and confronting to receive a phone call like this, it is important to remember that you must simply hang up on them."

"Because it is tax time we are seeing a dramatic increase in these scams so we are asking the public to maintain a high level of awareness and vigilance towards these fraudulent representations.

"It is also important to remember that as soon as we issue this warning, the scammers methodology may change.

"It is therefore important we all remember to stay vigilant when you receive any call, text, email or letter where payment of money or disclosure of personal details is involved.

"Make further inquiries with the organisation via their official phone number, not the contact number provided by the offender," Act Det Insp Hallett said.

For further information on how to avoid becoming a victim and how to report these matters, visit the R U in Control page on the MyPolice blog.

Official ATO payment methods can be found here or by calling the ATO on 1800 008 540 to verify the authenticity of a call.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form. You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au.

Topics:  afp ato crime police scam



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