ACT police are investigating a number of incidents in which Canberrans have been defrauded by telephone scammers claiming to represent the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
Police said that the scammers obtained large sums of money in some instances, from tens of thousands to more than $100,000.
Criminal investigations manager response Sergeant Marcus Boorman noted that many of the reported incidents involved a similar approach.
“Often the call comes from what appears to be an Australian phone number and the person claims to be from the ATO. They say that the victim must repay a tax debt. They may also threaten arrest if the victims don’t pay up,” Sergeant Boorman said.
“They’ll often ask victims to pay by money transfer or provide their credit card details. It’s incredibly difficult to get your money back once you’ve been scammed, so we hope that by raising awareness we can prevent more of these incidents from happening.”
Mr Boorman urged the public to hang up or delete unsolicited emails claiming to represent the ATO.
“We’re also hoping members of the public will spread the word to their friends and families, particularly if they know someone who would be vulnerable to this type of scam. The more people know about how these scams work, the more likely they’ll recognise a scammer calling.”
By Mitchell Turner
Wednesday, 20 January 2016