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Police warn elderly to beware of ATO scams

GYMPIE police are warning members of the public to be vigilant after a Brisbane woman fell victim to a scam targeting elderly residents.

The Gympie Times has also received complaints from residents about the scam.

Residents are being called by a person claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office or another government agency.

The caller tells the resident that a sum of money is owed to the ATO and payment is required by way of a prepaid Visa card, money transfer or bank deposit.

Victims are then told that if they do not comply a warrant will be issued.

Police say this is a scam and the ATO would never threaten jail or arrest.

A 75-year-old Brisbane pensioner fell victim to the scam after receiving an aggressive phone call.

A man said his name was Andrew Watson from the ATO and advised the woman that an arrest warrant was out for her for tax evasion.

The man stated that the victim was sent two letters, which had been ignored and she owed $9674.23.

The woman was concerned about going to jail left the house to withdraw money.

The woman attended her financial institution and withdrew $9700 cash and was given instructions to deposit the money into various bank accounts.

The woman made several subsequent withdrawals and deposits as guided by the man.

Over the course of 11 days, the woman deposited cash to the amount of $43,400 to the man.

To ensure you are not becoming a victim of fraud, it is essential you remain alert to those who contact you requesting access to your personal bank details.

For further information visit www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/cscp/fraud or www.scamwatch.gov.au for updated information.

Topics:  ato australian taxation office online scams scams taa tax returns

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