- Crypto fraudsters get personal information to swindle vulnerable people
- BTC related fraud surpasses the famous iTunes gift card related fraud
- The number of bitcoin scams is on the rise
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has raised the alarm about scammers demanding tax payments via bitcoin ATMs. The fraudsters are trying to exploit vulnerable residents to get personal information and swindle them of their hard earned cash.
A surge in Fraudulent Taxation Payments
The Assistant Commissioner for the Australian Tax Authority Kath Anderson gave an official communication on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, noting that there has been an upsurge of requests for fraudulent taxation payments and asked “Australians to be on high alert for tax scams.” ATO said in their statement that the number of fraudsters requesting for payments via BTC cash machines has surpassed the formerly common iTunes vouchers.
Noting that November is the high season for scammers in Australia as over one million people strive to beat the November 21 deadline for paying their taxes, Kath Anderson reminded taxpayers that scammers had upped their game and become even more aggressive. She asked residents to be alert if someone demanded of them a tax debt they don’t owe. She warned:
“Will never ask you to make a payment into an ATM or via gift or prepaid cards such as iTunes and Visa cards, or direct credit to be paid to a personal bank account, if uncertain about the legitimacy of a call, hang up and call us.”
Andersen said while Australians whose tax bills are below $72,000 were free to discuss a payment plan with ATO, they should be wary of sharing their personal information with strangers.
6000 Taxpayers Conned till Now
According to the November 14 government warning, there have been at least 28,000 scam attempts from July 1, 2018, to date where about 6,000 taxpayers who gave away personal or financial information lost over $1 million to scammers through Phishing scams and others who demanded unusual payment methods including BTC and iTunes vouchers. She said:
“Your identifying information like tax file numbers, bank account numbers or your date of birth are the keys to your identity, and can be used by scammers to break into your life if they are compromised.”
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) warned Australians on a misleading crypto-asset fund and Initial Coin Offerings that were targeting retail investors. The overzealous scammers use aggressive or abusive behavior, threats of immediate arrest, and requests for payment through Bitcoin ATMs or gift cards.
The number of Bitcoin scams is on the rise throughout the world with the police in different places making arrests. A U. S-based law firm that that specializes in prosecuting cryptocurrency related cases has recently sued AT&T and T-Mobile for SIM card enabled cryptocurrency hacks.