Fake Tax Collectors in Australia Demand Bitcoin to Taxpayers – Authorities Worried

Bitcoin scams are happening everywhere. Since the last crypto bull run, hacks, scams, fake ICOs have been affecting the environment. But a new way of scamming people appeared in Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) warned about scammers that want to steal people’s cryptocurrencies.

New Scamming Procedure in Australia

A new scamming method is surprising Australians that own cryptocurrencies. A group of thieves is calling people saying to them that they have unpaid taxes and that they can pay using the famous cryptocurrency. 

According to a press release from the ATO, $50,000 have been paid in Bitcoin to scammers claiming to be the Australian Taxation Office.

Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson commented:

“We became aware of scammers seeking payment in Bitcoin last year. So far we have seen over $50,000 Australian dollars paid in Bitcoin to scammers claiming fake ATO tax debts. Cryptocurrency operates in a virtual world, and once the scammers receive the payment, it is virtually impossible to get it back.”

Besides that, the ATO informed that there were individuals that deposit money in personal bank accounts of other people.

In order to stop that, the ATO is warning tax payers that scammers are trying to improve their procedures by adopting cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the ATO received almost 80,000 reports of scams and more than $2.4 million dollars were lost to scammers that claimed to be from the ATO.

The ATO informs that phone calls that threaten with legal procedures or calling the police, are not from the ATO office. Scammers will all the time try to steal personal and private information like home addresses, first and last name, bank account numbers and more sensitive data.

“If you receive a phone call out of the blue, threatening police or legal action if you don’t pay a debt, or the person calling you is rude and aggressive, hang up, it won’t be the ATO. Any call-back number provided should be checked via an independent internet search to ensure you are calling the ATO,” informs the statement released.

Image: Canberra Times

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