Christmas warning on ATO scam

In the lead up to Christmas the Australian Tax Office ( ATO) and SAPOL are warning the public of ongoing reports of tax debt scams, reminding the public to be careful if they receive a strange call about their tax.

The scammers will often call or leave a recorded message on your phone, advising of a tax debt and that if you don’t pay it straight away, you’ll be arrested.

If you’re ever unsure whether an ATO interaction is genuine, hang up. You can phone the ATO on 1800 008 540 to check.

The scammers will often:

  • threaten you with immediate arrest, jail or deportation.
  • insist you stay on the phone until a payment is made
  • use a fake caller ID of a phone number that appears legitimate

SAPOL are also seeing a recent trend in relation to ATO scams, with the scammers moving away from requesting gift cards and actually providing BSB and account details for victims to transfer the money the into.

Check the tips at to find out more about scammers’ methods and how you can tell if it’s really the ATO calling.

For further information on scams please visit

Don’t get caught out by these scammers leading up to Christmas.

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