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ATO Urges Vigilance Following New Scams Approach

With a rise in reports of fake websites readily providing tax file numbers (TFN) and Australian business numbers (ABN) to taxpayers after charging a fee, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has urged individuals, sole traders, and business owners to stay vigilant and aware of frauds happening around them, both physically and digitally.

Most of the fake TFN and ABN scams are taking ground on leading social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram via advertisement offers. Usually, the culprits ask for a fee to provide you with TFN or ABN in a short time. In spite of giving any information about the numbers, the scammers steal your personal information as well as money.

If you want to apply for a tax file number, you can do it in a free, quick, and easy way by applying at the official ATO website. For an Australian business number (ABN), you can apply it online at Australian Business Register (ABR).

Tim Loh, Assistant Commissioner, ATO, said with the evolving technology, even the scammers are developing new ways to target the taxpayers’ community and steal confidential identity details. Last year, over 50,000 people reported falling victim to the fraud, thereby causing an income loss of more than $800,000. ATO is deeply concerned about the rising scam reports and urging everyone to stay aware of the online scams.

If you are applying for a TFN or ABN through a tax agent, make sure they are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board of Australia. This will keep you safe online. Some other tips you can follow to protect yourself from scammers include:

Know legitimate ways to make a payment: Scammers can use different tactics to trick their victims, therefore make sure you check whether a payment method is legitimate or not by visiting the how to pay section on the ATO website.

Don’t share personal and financial information: When accepting any privacy policy, be careful about reading it thoroughly. Also, avoid clicking third party links on a website and share your personal information only on trusted channels.

Know your tax affairs and lodgment dates: Stay aware of the tax lodgement details, deductions you are applicable for and when your tax debt is due. Consider getting in touch with a tax agent in Dandenong.

For more information about the scamming reports and ways to stay safe, talk to one of our tax accountants at KPG Taxation.