The national tax accounting group has reported that scammers are ramping up efforts and employing new techniques to scam unsuspecting taxpayers as the deadline for individual tax returns fast approaches.
Scammers are reportedly phoning taxpayers to falsely claim that they are being audited, urging them to call “Geoff Morgan” on 02 6140 3472, and that a member of the ATO will visit their address unless tax payments are immediately made.
H&R Block noted that while the supplied number appears to be a Sydney-based landline number, it in fact diverts to a mobile phone.
Mark Chapman, director of tax communications at H&R Block, warned that scammers are turning to intimidation to scare their targets.
“The scammers have been busy this year, and we’ve noticed a significant change in the way they try to defraud people. Instead of offering refunds, they’ve opted to intimidate people into paying non-existent tax debts,” he said.
“This latest scam appears to be rife at the moment, with multiple reports coming in from across Australia,” he added.
Mr Chapman reiterated that the ATO will not suddenly call without warning, under any circumstances.
“ATO compliance processes are thorough and measured and if the ATO have an issue with your return, they will write to you or your tax agent first, politely requesting any additional information,” Mr Chapman noted.
H&R Block has urged any taxpayers who receive such a phone call to hang up immediately and report the scam to the ATO.