The ATO is reminding the public to be alert to scammers impersonating the ATO demanding iTunes gift cards as a form of tax debt payment.

Staggering to believe, but a simple cold call to unsuspecting victims is working. The ruse is simple: cold call someone and pretend to be from the ATO, then demand payment via iTunes gift cards.

“…the ATO has recently received reports of not only iTunes cards, but also pre-paid Visa gift cards purchased from supermarkets and department stores.”

“We will never request the payment of a tax debt via gift or pre-paid cards such as iTunes and Visa cards. Nor will we ask for direct credit to be paid to a personal bank account.

“And if the person calling you is rude and aggressive, threatening police or legal action if you don’t do something immediately – it’s not the ATO.

“If you do have a debt, we would have written to you first. If we do ring you, our staff will identify themselves and let you know how you can call us back.”

If you get a phone call from the ATO (or anyone for that matter) demanding money it’s simple: hang up. Don’t be polite about it either – just hang up.