The taxation office’s chief technology officer Todd Heather warned people to be on the lookout for tax scams at this time of year with scammers targeting tax payers hurrying to lodge their return by the deadline.
“This year we are seeing more targeted scams sent to taxpayers where the perpetrators make the email more convincing by using the latest ATO website imagery and the names and signatures of real ATO staff."
“People should also be aware of a nasty phone scam where taxpayers are threatened with arrest if they do not pay a fake tax debt over the phone.”
Mr Heather said it is important the public reports all suspected scams directly to the ATO as soon as possible.
“When the public reports a scam to the ATO we work with our local and international partner agencies to shut down the scam website and pursue the scammers directly,” said Mr Heather.
The ATO said that from time to time it will send emails, SMS messages or official social media updates advising of new services but the messages will never request personal or financial information by SMS or email.
While statistics revealed by the ATO show reported scams were down in June 2014 compared to a year ago, over 3,000 were still reported in the month.