Protect Yourself Against ATO Scams

by | Oct 21, 2015

Death and taxes. Not only are both certain to happen, they also both scare people, and quite understandably.

Phone scams are all too common these days, and clever scammers are targeting the scared and naïve, attempting to intimidate vulnerable people into paying a non-existent tax debt over the phone.

How do you spot a phone scam and how can you protect yourself?

Whilst ‘The Taxman’ is sometimes cast as the villain, the Australian Taxation Office does respect your privacy and safety. If you have any kind of debt owing to the ATO, the first you hear about it will not be an aggressive automated message or phone call threatening to carry out an arrest warrant.

Scammers impersonating the ATO usually demand payment using wire transfer, which is almost impossible to trace, and will often leave a VOIP number should a message be left. The ATO, or any other government department or financial institution will never request a wire transfer of funds, and will, provide you with an Australian land line phone number. Should a payment be required, you will receive the details of legitimate and traceable transaction facilities. You should never send money via wire transfer to anyone you don’t know and trust, or provide any bank account details or credit card numbers to anyone you didn’t yourself call and initiate the contact with. If there is any doubt hang up and call the ATO directly. When you contact the Australian Taxation Office you will be asked to safely and securely verify your details if required.

You may also receive contact from a scammer claiming to have an unexpected refund or grant, but will require you to provide some sort of identifying information or even a fee to access the windfall. These offers may come via phone, SMS or email and the SMS and email approaches in particular can be quite sophisticated and convincing. Spoofed email addresses and links included can appear to be quite legitimate. The goal of these approaches is identity theft. Never click on the link as they are likely to contact malware that put you at risk of financial loss at worst, and a nasty computer virus at best. If something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

The ATO has examples of scam emails that can assist you to identify suspicious approaches and if you receive any contact that you suspect is a scam, from the ATO or otherwise, it is always helpful to report to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission by calling 1300 795 995 or via the SCAMwatch report a scam page.

The ATO isn’t the boogey man, and they won’t make aggressive and threatening contact with you or jump out at you when you are least expecting it.

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I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.

Gai Hook
Virtual Sales Strategy

2017-10-13T09:32:05+00:00

Gai Hook
Virtual Sales Strategy

I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.
I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.

Jennifer Dalitz
Gender Diversity expert, Career Coach, Award winning blogger on women, work & leadership @ www.TheSheEOBlog.com

2017-10-13T09:50:01+00:00

Jennifer Dalitz
Gender Diversity expert, Career Coach, Award winning blogger on women, work & leadership @ www.TheSheEOBlog.com

I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.
I got to know Sophie through my previous employer where Sophie still handles the bookkeeping side of things. While we worked together I have found Sophie very accurate, punctual and very pleasant to work with. And recommend her highly.

Dianna Holwerda
Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T09:55:05+00:00

Dianna Holwerda
Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

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I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T04:16:02+00:00

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!
I have really enjoyed working with you guys and look forward to a successful 2013. From the moment we started with TAS I have seen value. The figures are accurate, you are accessible (and approachable!) and most of all – you are cool people!

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2017-10-13T04:20:03+00:00

Chris Du Plessis
Managing Director, Origin Meat Pty Ltd

I have really enjoyed working with you guys and look forward to a successful 2013. From the moment we started with TAS I have seen value. The figures are accurate, you are accessible (and approachable!) and most of all – you are cool people!
"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"

Fast Ed
TV Chef from Better Homes & Gardens

2017-10-13T04:23:15+00:00

Fast Ed
TV Chef from Better Homes & Gardens

"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"
Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.

Belinda Grundy
GM, Property Styling Online and BG Property Styling

2017-10-13T09:21:50+00:00

Belinda Grundy
GM, Property Styling Online and BG Property Styling

Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.
Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

2017-10-13T09:25:16+00:00

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.
Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

2017-10-13T09:26:35+00:00

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.
Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.

Adam Dobson
Strategic Resourcing Manager

2017-10-13T09:28:24+00:00

Adam Dobson
Strategic Resourcing Manager

Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.