Sunshine Coast police have received a large volume of calls from the public regarding a phone scam involving intimidation and personal threats of arrest.
The ‘ATO impersonation scam’ involves members of the community receiving a phone call from the “Australian Federal Police” stating a warrant has been taken out for their arrest regarding non-payment of an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) fine.
Reports state the caller is quite demanding and some have suggested they are quite threatening in their tone. The victim is told to pay the fine or risk being arrested.
Officer in Charge of the Mooloolaba Police Beat, Acting Sergeant Lachlan Bell is reminding residents that the AFP will not contact you in this way, and the ATO will never threaten you with arrest or jail, use rude or threatening behaviour, or ask you to pay money into strange bank accounts or settle tax debts with strange things like gift cards or iTunes cards.
“We are asking the public to maintain a high level of awareness and vigilance towards these fraudulent representations,” Acting Sergeant Bell said.
“Stop and ask yourself ‘R U in Control?’ of your personal information and financial identity?
“If you receive a call of this nature, do not engage with the person – instead, just hang up.”
Official ATO payment methods can be found at http://www.ato.gov.au/howtopay or by calling the ATO on 1800 008 540 to verify the authenticity of a call.
For further information on how to avoid becoming a victim and how to report these matters, visit the R U in Control page on the myPolice blog at www.mypolice.qld.gov.au/incontrol
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.