Be wary of emails, phone calls and text messages claiming to be from the ATO.
If you think a phone call, SMS, voicemail, email or interaction on social media claiming to be from the ATO is not genuine, do not engage with it. You should either:
- phone us on 1800 008 540
- go to Verify or report a scam to see how to spot and report a scam.
Stay up to date on the latest scam alerts by subscribing to our general email updates. You will also receive updates on all new general content on our website.
- January 2023 – ATO social media impersonation accounts scam
- July 2022 – tax refund SMS scams
- June 2022 – 2022 tax lodgment email scam
- April 2022 – fake TFN/ABN application scams
- February 2022 – SMS and email scams – cryptocurrency
- November 2021 – phone and email scams – superannuation
- November 2021 – phone scam – fake tax debt
- October 2021 – email scam – update your financial information
- August 2021 – phone scam – new payment methods
We’re seeing an increase in fake social media accounts impersonating the ATO, our employees and senior executive staff across Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and other platforms.
These fake accounts ask users that interact with the ATO to send them a direct message so they can help with their enquiry. The people behind these fake accounts are trying to steal your personal information, including phone numbers, email addresses and bank account information.
The best way to verify that it’s really the ATO is to:
- check how many people follow the account. Our verified Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have over 200,000 followers, and our Twitter account has over 65,000 followers
- check activity on the accounts. Our social media channels have been operating for around 10 years – if it’s a newly created account, or only has a few posts, it’s not us
- look for the grey tick next to our username (@ato_gov_au) on Twitter and the blue tick next to our name (Australian Taxation Office) on Facebook
- make sure any email addresses provided to you end with ‘.gov.au’.
The images below show examples of what impersonation accounts might look like.
If you’re approached by an impersonation account, do not engage with them. Take a screenshot of the account, email the information to ReportScams@ato.gov.au and block the account through the social media platform’s reporting function.
We’re concerned about a high volume of SMS scams pretending to be from the ATO.
These scams tell you that you’re owed an income tax repayment and ask you to click a hyperlink and complete a form.
Clicking the link takes you to a fake ATO webpage that asks for your personal identifying information, including your credit card details.
If you receive an SMS like this, don’t click on any links. Report the scam to us.
The image below shows one example of what this scam can look like.
The real ATO will never send you an SMS with a link to log in to our online services. We’ll also never ask for your credit card details.
If you’re ever unsure whether it’s really the ATO, don’t reply. Phone us on 1800 008 540 to check.