Scammers are using technology to make it look like the calls originate from a legitimate ATO phone number. This number may appear on caller ID, be left on voice mail messages for call backs, or directed by *69 for call back functionality. Scammers do this to make the calls seem more valid when they call people a second time. Most frequently the numbers appearing are 6216 1111 and 1800 467 033, but numbers for individual ATO staff members have been used as well.
While these scam calls may appear to be from the ATO with a spoofed caller ID, it is important to remember that a legitimate caller from the ATO will never:
- threaten you with arrest
- demand immediate payment, particularly through unusual means such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards
- refuse to allow you to speak with a trusted advisor or your regular tax agent
- or present a phone number on caller ID.
- Never call a scammer back on the number they provide.
If you are in any doubt about an ATO call hang up and phone us on 1800 008 540 to check if the call was legitimate or report a scam.