How to stay vigilant at tax time

Tips on how to stay alert and be cautious during the tax season.


The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is urging the public to be cautious following an increase in reports of fake websites offering to provide Tax File Numbers (TFN) and Australian Business Numbers (ABN) for a fee but failing to provide the service.

How do these scammers do this?

These Tax File Number (TFN) application scams are designed to steal your personal information. The fake TFN and ABN services are often advertised on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The advertisements offer to set up a TFN or ABN for a fee. Instead of delivering this service, the scammer uses these fraudulent websites to steal both money and personal information.

As stated by the ATO Assistant Commissioner: 
“scammers are constantly developing new ways to target the community, and we expect to see more of these malicious attempts to steal identity details in the lead up to tax time.”

“We are concerned about a recent increase in the number of victims reporting scams around TFN and ABN applications. We are also still seeing scammers impersonating the ATO, making threats, demanding the payment of fake tax debts or claiming a TFN has been ‘suspended’ due to fraud.” 

“We are encouraging everyone to be on 
alert and take the time to remind family and friends to be on the lookout and stay safe
online, so you don’t fall victim to a scam this tax time.”

What do to if you are unsure?

If you are unsure, don’t engage. If a call, SMS or email leaves you wondering if it is genuine, don’t reply. Instead, you should
phone the ATO’s dedicated scam line 1800 008 540 to check if it is legitimate.

You can also verify or report a scam online at: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/online-services/identity-security-and-scams/verify-or-report-a-scam/


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