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Scammers Asking for Tax Payments via Bitcoin ATMs in Australia

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Scammers have found a new way to trick people into parting with their bitcoins - by demanding tax payments through bitcoins ATMs.

A warning was issued by Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on November 14 regarding scammers asking for tax payments in bitcoin through Bitcoin ATMs. The warning also revealed that bitcoin had overtaken iTunes gift cards as the preferred method of payment for scammers.

Kath Anderson, the Assistant Commissioner at the ATO said that the instances of scammers posing as authorities at the ATO and demanding fraudulent tax payments has increased, and asked the "Australians to be on high alert for tax scams."

"While most taxpayers received a tax refund this year, around one million taxpayers will need to make a payment to the ATO," read the statement. "With the [..] due date just around the corner, the ATO wants Australians to be on high alert for tax scams, especially the increasing trend of scammers demanding payment through Bitcoin ATMs."
Kath Anderson, the Assistant Commissioner at the ATO said that the instances of scammers posing as authorities at the ATO and demanding fraudulent tax payments has increased, and asked the "Australians to be on high alert for tax scams."

Earlier this year in March, the commissioner had released a similar warning about scammers trying to extract fake tax debt payments from people using a variety of cryptocurrencies. In October this year too, there were reports about 4 people have been made victims of tax scams in which they lost AUD$50,000 to scammers. Now, in November, when it is again time for the citizens of Australia to make their tax payments, crypto-related tax scams are on the rise. This time, the fact that people are giving away a lot of sensitive personal information to scammers, is also aggravating the situation.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had also issued warnings against "misleading" Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and crypto-asset funds targeted at retail investors.

"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. If you've received an unsolicited email or text, or if you have any doubts about whether any contact is legitimately from the ATO, don't hesitate to get in touch with us to check. Scammers have been known to impersonate tax agents too it's recommended that you hang up and call your agent direct on a number you have sourced independently," stated Anderson.
Earlier this earlier, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had also issued warnings against "misleading" Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and crypto-asset funds targeted at retail investors. However, the good news is that crypto scams account for only 1% of all the scams in Australia, according to findings by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

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