There have been increasing reports of people losing money to automated phone scams.
Scammers pretending to be from the ATO tell people their tax file number (TFN) has either been suspended due to illegal activity or compromised by a scammer.
They request the call recipient to either pay a fine to release their TFN or transfer all bank funds into a holding account to protect it from future misuse.
The ATO does not suspend TFNs and will never request you pay a fine or transfer money in order to protect your TFN pending legal action.
Phone calls from the ATO do not project a number on caller ID and the will never send unsolicited pre-recorded messages to your phone.
If you receive a phone call like this, hang up and do not provide the information requested.
There have been other reports of scammers pretending to be the tax agent and demanding payment by Credit Card or Bitcoin. The ATO will never demand payment over the phone nor will they threaten you with arrest. Please ignore these calls.
If you’re unsure whether an ATO contact is genuine, phone them on 1800 008 540 to check.