Tax is all that is on the mind of the Australians at this time of the year. They get busy with tax filing, payment or claiming a tax refund and with this the scammers become super active. The scammers feed on the anxiety of these tax payers.
The Australian Taxation Office says that in the first six months of this year it received reports of almost 29,000 ATO impersonation scams. According to the ATO, 48,084 scams were reported between July and October last year. They are getting smarter and smarter year by year.
You could be a target of a scammer either through phone, SMS, or emails or maybe implanting a virus on your net connection. They claim to be on behalf of the ATO and ask for personal information or payment of money. This information later on may be used to access your bank accounts, take a loan in your name, lodge false tax returns or claim Centre link or other benefits.
Of late these scammers are imitating ATO phone numbers and projecting them onto caller ID. It’s called ‘spoofing’ and it’s designed to make you think that it’s the ATO calling you. It scares the person because the caller uses threatening tactics which in turn makes the victim pay money or provides out personal & sensitive information. This year alone, 113 Australians have handed over $1.5 million dollars to fraudsters, while 2500 people have given out some form of personal information, including tax file numbers & return issues.
It is a very serious situation for the ATO and the Australians because a lot of genuine tax payer money is lost in this scams which affect badly in their financial security also.
To stay safe & be in constant tab in with the accounts, firstly people could check if they had a legitimate refund by contacting their tax agent & asking for the crucial details & maybe changing their security codes, checking their myGov account for any messages or email, or calling the ATO directly to verify the correspondence on 1800 008 540. In Australia, 74 per cent of people use a tax agent, so they should remember that ATO should be contacting the tax agent rather than the client directly. This will make sure that the Client’s money & tax returns are secured faster & the latter would provide the Client of a stress-free situation, being handled between the Accountant & the ATO office.
Secondly to protect yourself at tax time & from the Scammers, keep these few points in mind:-
• Have strong, secure passwords
• Ensure your devices have the latest security updates
• Use spam filters on email accounts
• Secure your wireless network
• Be careful what you share on social media
• Treat your personal information like cash
• Monitor your bank accounts
• Keep your mail secure
• Don’t download attachments from strangers
• Take the ATO’s online security questionnaire (LIN)
Lastly, if you have not hired a tax consultant, then it is the right time to do so & will save you the trouble of handling & segregating the vital documents in the scheme of things. An accountant makes sure that your business, economic planning & your primary source: Income doesn’t get hay-wired or crucified in the long term planning. Hiring an accountant will provide you with the best in-house software & apps where you can check, update or clarify the details of every small thing that you wish to include, being it a deductible asset or not. PND Accountant firm in Melbourne is one such firm in the locality that provides its client with the best, reliable & customer-centric solutions, thereby; adhering to ones needs & demands. PND Accountants provides consulting as well as form-filling & all the bits & bobs of filing a perfect income tax return to clients.
Hence, tax filing becomes far less complicated and saves a lot of time & keeps the client free of trouble, wrapping every fortnight one’s return if you have hired a reliable & trust-worthy consultant. Above all, it provides you the lease of enjoying your time with your family & loved ones on weekend too.
To get what you really need will you be finding the expertise & craftsmanship at PND Accountants Firm in Melbourne who have provided taxation services to the most affable & respected clients in the society and are professionals with high prowess in this field. They keep you updated about any changes in the tax law, act as an advisor & care-taker for your financial planning and there are zero chances of error while filing with us.
By having a tax consultant, You will be getting a safe haven to trust your legal formalities & portfolios & also, you will be safe from these scammers because you know ATO will raise any query & concerns regarding your tax filing to the consultancy firm and not to you directly. Confidentiality is one of the prime aspects that is guaranteed by the accountancy firm to the client which secures your tax returns & all other financial lodgings. So whenever you receive any call, email or message you can delete it instantly and just call the consultant or the advisor in touch to make sure the things sail smoothly & efficiently without any jitters.
ATO has urged anyone who received a scam email or SMS or phone call to contact them or forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact ATO on 1800 008 540.