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Police warn of 'impersonator scam'

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SOUTHERN Downs residents are warned not to fall for the "impersonation scam” targeting Australian taxpayers.

The scam involves people being contacted by the Australian Federal Police, stating an arrest warrant had been taken due to non-payment of an Australian Tax Office Fine.

Victims are told to pay the fine or risk being arrested.

Queensland Police Service reported a large number of calls regarding the scam, with reports saying the caller is demanding or uses a threatening tone.

Financial and Cyber Crime Group Acting Detective Inspector Brad Hallett commended those who had come forward in relation to the scram.

"The AFP will not contact you in this way, and the ATO will never ask for direct payment over the telephone.

"Whilst I can understand it is quite intimidating and confronting to receive a phone call like this, it is important to remember that you must simply hang up on them.

"Because it is tax time we are seeing a dramatic increase in these scams so we are asking the public to maintain a high level of awareness and vigilance towards these fraudulent representations.”

Det Insp Hallett said police warnings could tip off the scammers, causing them to change their methods.

"It is therefore important we all remember to stay vigilant when you receive any call, text, email or letter where payment of money or disclosure of personal details is involved,” he said.

"Make further inquiries with the organisation via their official phone number, not the contact number provided by the offender.”

For further information on how to avoid becoming a victim and how to report these matters, visit the R U in Control page on the MyPolice blog at mypolice.qld.gov.au/incontrol

Official ATO payment methods can be found at ato.gov.au/howtopay or by calling the ATO on 1800 008 540 to verify the authenticity of a call.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Topics:  afp ato crime news qps safety scam warwick community



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