Cybercriminals are constantly changing their operating methods, and they seem to have found another way of deceiving people, this time by pretending to be working for the tax office. Some people have reportedly received phone calls or emails, threatening arrest over unpaid tax debts, which mostly happened coincidentally on dates where tax returns were meant to be filed, which further alarmed the unsuspecting victims.
These scammers disguise themselves as someone from the police or from Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and some unfortunate victims have believed them out of fear. They have reportedly asked the victims to buy gift cards from iTunes or Google Play, and some have asked them to send money through Bitcoin or pre-paid credit cards all to compensate for these “tax debts”.
Some scenarios even go as far as outright telling the victim to transfer money to their bank accounts. Of this, Queensland Police Financial and Cyber Crimes Group Detective Inspector Melissa Anderson said, “If that doesn’t work for them, there have been instances where scammers have met a victim and stand over them as they remove money from their account. There is a risk there where they clone or copy your bank details and take money from your account.”
Since scams like these are designed to trick people into giving money and/or personal information, we have to be extremely cautious on who we give these to. You can verify or report a scam through the ATO website; additionally, precautionary steps such as getting the Trend Micro Internet Security are needed to avoid falling for such schemes. Trend Micro Internet Security will protect all your devices against online scams and other online threats, and will serve as the best defence for your online banking and shopping activities.