How to handle an ATO phone scam in under 10 seconds

IMG_3798_blogSo……. you receive an “out of the blue” aggressive phone call from someone purporting to be from the ATO, threatening you with legal action because you owe money or (the more recent version) threatening you with impending criminal prosecution for tax fraud!!

What do you do?

Simple – you say “No problem.  Ring my accountant. He/she is authorised to handle this on my behalf”, and end the call there.

Don’t give names or phone numbers – if it really is the ATO, it will have all that and more on file.  If it is a scam (which it invariably is) it will end there.  If you want further peace of mind, just give us a call – we will tell you if you owe anything.  We can also tell if what you have been told stacks-up with the way the ATO works.  Scammers don’t know what is “normal” ATO behaviour, and so they invariably show their hand.

Whatever you do, don’t ever give out personal details.

By Joel Hernandez

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