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What is a Tax scam?

When scammers claim to be from the tax office or other government agencies and threaten you with arrest, legal action or other demands to force you into handing over your money and or personal details.

Signs this may be a scam

A caller, claiming to be from the ATO, says your tax file number (TFN) has either been suspended or compromised. You must pay a fine or transfer money to a holding account to release it.

Hang up. Do not pay or give out any information.

An email or text message asks for personal information or provides a link to the ATO or MyGov websites to enter your personal information such as driver’s licence, Medicare card and bank account details.

Do not click on the links or provide any personal information.

A caller says you have a tax debt and may threaten you with arrest unless you pay immediately.

Hang up. Do not pay or give out any information.

A person claims you have a tax debt, asks you to pay with in an unusual way such as gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfers.

Do not pay. Hang up, delete the email or text message.


The Australian government agencies will never threaten you with immediate arrest, demand immediate payment through unusual means over the phone, or send you links to log in or update details for your government account (MyGov, Service Australia). If in doubt, contact your tax agent or the ATO via an independently sourced number.

Remember – Never share your passwords or security codes with anyone.

Who should I contact and examples of scams

Latest Scams

To stay in the loop, and stay protected, check out our list of the latest phishing scams impersonating Westpac.

Report a scam

If you receive any suspicious calls, emails or SMS messages, or notice unusual activity on your account, it’s important that you let us know.

Security Wellbeing Check

To help keep you up to date with the latest security features, we’ve introduced the Security Wellbeing Check. Found in the Westpac App, it checks your Westpac settings and suggests how you can improve the security of your banking facilities.

Things you should know

Examples are based on one or more real scam reports received by Westpac and the ACCC. For privacy purposes real names have not been used.