H&R Block issued the warning of numerous “aggressive and threatening” phone scams following reports from clients of aggressive phone scams over this year's tax returns, .
Mark Chapman, director of tax communications at H&R Block, said the tax network has seen an increase in tax-related scams coinciding with this year’s return season, “with a significant rise in scammers contacting taxpayers, claiming they are either due for a refund and requesting bank account details for their payment, or alternatively demanding payment for a non-existent tax debt”.
“This new debt scam is unusual because of the very threatening tone adopted by callers, including threats of almost immediate arrest and imprisonment,” Mr Chapman said.
H&R Block issued a statement saying it has received reports of the scams demanding that taxpayers pay money.
“An H&R Block client reported last week that he had received a very aggressive telephone call, supposedly from an ATO officer with the (fake) name of William Reid Senior, who claimed to be an investigating officer from the ATO, with a fake ATO code 6331H and batch number 89681. The scammer recited the date when our client started working in Australia,” the statement read.
“He was told that he owed taxes and if he did not pay immediately, all of his assets would be frozen. He was told to stay on the telephone, go to the bank and deposit $14,985 into the account that he would be given. The taxpayer knew that he did not owe any money and reported the scam, but was shaken by the very aggressive call.”
Anyone who believes they have been targeted by a scam is encouraged to report the incident via the federal government's scamwatch website or through the ATO.