Police warn of 'tax office' scam

Police are warning Queenslanders against a phone scam claiming to offer a tax office refund.
Police are warning Queenslanders against a phone scam claiming to offer a tax office refund. Chrissy Harris

POLICE are issuing a warning regarding a new scam targeting Queenslanders over the phone.

The “tax office” scam involves a person calling a home telephone telling the receiver they are due a tax refund because they have always paid their taxes on time.

The caller has the victim’s name and address details when they phone and gives the victim a staff ID number and a return Australian telephone number for any inquires. Should the victim call this phone number, it is answered by the initial caller with the tax office greeting, giving the impression the refund is legitimate.

The caller then phones the victim back in a few days time to confirm the victim’s bank account details stating the first payment didn’t go through.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the State Crime Operations Command’s Fraud and Corporate Crime Group said the fraudsters who are based overseas and utilising an “02” prefixed number so it appears Australian, are not discriminating and will take advantage of any person prepared to surrender their bank account details.

“After having obtained those details, I am confident that a demand will come for Administration Fees to be paid to ensure that the depositing of funds can occur.

“It is absolutely vital that people treat any unsolicited phone call that seeks their personal or financial information with a high degree of suspicion. These types of fraudsters are highly skilled at engaging people and establishing trust, always take their name and phone number – ideally their switchboard number, not their direct number.

“If possible undertake a quick computer check on their details before calling them back, if in any doubt, simply hang up,” he said.

Anyone with information which could assist police with their investigations should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Crime Stoppers is a charitable community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.

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