Suspended TFN phone scam

ATO scam

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is receiving increasing reports of people losing money to an automated phone scam.

Scammers pretending to be from the ATO tell people their tax file number (TFN) has either been suspended due to illegal activity or compromised by a scammer.

They request the call recipient either pay a fine to release their TFN or transfer all bank funds into a holding account to protect it from future misuse.

The ATO does not suspend TFNs and will never request you pay a fine or transfer money in order to protect your TFN pending legal action.


Spotting a scam

The ATO does call taxpayers, but note that they will never:

  • send unsolicited pre-recorded phone messages
  • use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten you with immediate arrest, jail or deportation
  • suspend your TFN
  • request direct transfers of money to a personal bank account
  • project their number onto your caller ID

If you receive a phone call like this, hang up and do not provide the information requested.

If you are ever unsure about the legitimacy of ATO phone calls, emails or other correspondence, call your tax advisor or the ATO on 1800 008 540 to verify.


Need further help?

Contact us on (07) 3023 4800 or at to verify the status of your ATO accounts.

Learn more about verifying and reporting scams on the ATO website.

You can find out more about working with Marsh & Partners here. As your Absolute.Account.Ability partner we’re on a mission to make your business life better. We’ll help you set goals for your business, devise an Action Plan to make them happen and meet with you regularly to ensure you stay on track.

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