A warning has been issued concerning a scam targeting Gippslanders, with callers claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and threatening to call police over unpaid debts.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester urged anyone who had received a call or a message from someone claiming to be from the ATO to ignore it.
“I’ve been contacted by people concerned by telephone calls they’ve received from the tax office,” Mr Chester said.
“Scammers claiming to be from the tax office are leaving messages, asking people to return their call about a debt and threatening to ring the police if they don’t.
“This is a scam and you should not return these calls. Nor should you provide any personal details or try to settle debts over the phone.
“The tax office will never call someone unexpectedly and demand immediate payment of a debt. Neither would it threaten someone with arrest.
“This is a known way scammers use to get someone’s sensitive personal information that can lead to identity theft or trick someone into sending money.
“It’s important people are vigilant and are aware of this scam. Never provide your personal and banking details to anyone you don’t know or trust.”
Mr Chester said scammers targetted people of all backgrounds, aged and income levels and could catch people unaware.
“All of us may be vulnerable to a scam at some time,” Mr Chester said. “Scammers succeed because they look and sound real and they can catch you off-guard when you are not expecting it.”
For more details about how to protect yourself from scams and a summary of reported scams, go to www.scamwatch.gov.au.