Watch out for tax time scams!

Every year at tax time the number of scams targeting Australians skyrockets. 

Tax scams change from year to year in the ways the victim is contacted and how the scams try to get money and personal info from victims. Criminals claim to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or registered tax agents, or associated with trusted brands like myGov, and use convincing language to trick taxpayers as they prepare to lodge their tax returns or await tax refunds.

Reports and losses attributed to scammers offering fake tax refunds, or threatening arrest, loss of benefits or even deportation increased in 2018, with more than 114,000 reports and $2.8 million in reported losses.

Here are some of the common online scams the ATO advises Australians to look out for this year, and the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s tips for avoiding them. These are based on real cases reported to the ATO but names and details have been changed.