Be on your guard for ATO scam

THERE'S no shortage of email and telephone scams doing the rounds at the moment, but one of the big ones to keep an ear out for is the ATO scam.

As recently as this week, an ABC reporter was contacted by a person claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office, telling the reporter they had committed tax fraud and would be arrested if they didn't pay back the money.

In this case, the scammer blew his own cover (quite dramatically) by launching into an foul-mouthed rant when the reporter informed him that he was being recorded in a national radio studio.

This goes some way to show how shameless these offshore crooks are. But don't be lulled into a false sense of security.

The ATO estimates similar scams have claimed $1.5 million from unsuspecting Australians so far this year.

You might not be at risk, but spare a thought for your older relatives, as these scammers will target the vulnerable with all sorts of threats.