Australians have been warned to stay alert to scammers using a Queensland Police Service phone number to impersonate the Australian Tax Office.
Under the scam, the criminals spoof the caller ID to look like the number is coming from the police, before then impersonating the ATO to demand details, Ipswich Police Constable Kerrin Sheedy said on Tuesday.
“The scam starts when the criminal calls the victim impersonating a government department,” Sheedy said.
“They advise the victim that they have an outstanding fine or fee with them (for example, the ATO).”
They then threaten the victim with arrest or legal action before demanding a payment.
Sheedy said that while ATO impersonation scams are common, the fact that criminals are calling from what appear to be government phone numbers is a concerning detail.
“Police are concerned this version of the scam has an additional layer which may result in more members of the community falling victim,” she said.
How do I know if it’s a scam?
Sheedy said Queensland Police will never contact you to ask for your bank or PIN details, or to transfer money or withdraw cash.
They will also never send anyone to your home to collect any of those details or cash.
Australians have already lost $90 million to scams in 2020 alone, significantly more than the $79 million lost in the first six months of 2019, with coronavirus making easy bait of desperate Australians.