News

Tax scammer threatens elderly woman with court

Julie Reading wants to alert people that tax scammers are calling Gladstone resident demanding money after they called her and her mother.
Julie Reading wants to alert people that tax scammers are calling Gladstone resident demanding money after they called her and her mother. Paul Braven

A FOREIGN-sounding man rang 84-year-old June Konica and told her she was going to go to court for tax evasion and fraud.

The call came just a week after the Australian Taxation Department warned the public of a phone scam where fraudsters intimidated people into paying fake tax debts.

Yesterday, after Mrs Konica's daughter Julie Reading called this paper, we rang the number left by the scammer.

A man answered, and when questioned about tax fraud and legal proceedings, he went silent but didn't hang up.

All our other calls were rejected.

The ATO claimed the fraudsters were threatening victims with arrest if they didn't comply.

Ms Konica didn't quite hear the threats because she is partially deaf, and told the man to phone back when her husband was home.

>> ATO does not make threats of arrest

She hasn't heard from the caller since, but her daughter has.

"Mum was worried she did something wrong. We just had to keep saying that it was a scam," she said.

"(On Tuesday) night I had a voice message from (a man) saying I had court proceedings for tax evasion and fraud."

What do you do when you get a con call?

This poll ended on 07 July 2015.

I hang up straight away - 33%

I politely tell them I'm not interested - 16%

I haven't had one in ages - 4%

I may let a few foul-mouth remarks loose - 45%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mrs Reading knew it was a scam but wanted an opportunity to speak with the man.

"It's funny how they rang two relatives," she said.

"I wanted to speak to him. I was curious to find out what I've done. I would've been difficult."

Mrs Reading knew it was a scam and wanted others to be aware of the fraudsters. "They're obviously doing the rounds and a lot of elderly people might not know it is a scam," she said.

TOP 3 SCAM INDICATORS:

  • Cold calling
  • Callers are pushy
  • Schemes to reduce tax

Topics:  arrest australian tax office con fraud scam tax



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