Accounting Fraud and Scam: Steering Clear of Legal Missteps
Scams exist anywhere that involves money. Sadly, in a business setting, these unlawful schemes are not nonexistent in the supplier or customer relationship. Scams can occur both externally and internally, even in client-accountant relationships. This type of fraudulent act often occurs during the busy tax season when establishments and businesses are rushing through the seemingly endless list of things to do before taxes are due.
Scammers often pretend to be tax preparers or tax service providers who overcharge their clients and then disappear without giving any output in return. They sometimes also collect personal information, either using it to their advantage or selling it to other malicious parties.
How to Avoid Tax Scams
While you cannot fully stop scammers from doing their wrong business, there are a few things you can do to avoid falling into their traps:
Do not easily give away your personal information
Protecting your personal information is a way to protect yourself. Details such as your full name, birth date, tax number, complete home address, and even identification cards contain enough details for scammers to steal your identity and make a fraudulent claim. Avoid sharing too much information about yourself, even on social media and other public platforms.
Always be suspicious of requests for personal information
Whenever you encounter engagements that request for your personal information, there is nothing wrong with seeing them all with suspicion. Whether it is a message from your bank or tax accountant or a service provider that you recognise, always take the safer step such as inquiring if they do need your information before giving them away.
Always validate payment requests
The same suspicion should also be applied for payment requests. Learn to validate every request before you deposit your money to any accounts or make any payments.
What to Do When You Become a Victim of Tax Scams
Unfortunately, scammers are always staying on top of the newest innovations to protect against the very situations they intend to evoke. Failing to protect yourself could leave you susceptible to their fraudulent acts. When you fall victim to a tax scam, here are the things you should do:
Report the incident to your local police.
Submit a complaint to the Tax Practitioners Board. Learn more through this link.
Contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Client Identity Support Centre on 1800 467 033 or at 1800 008 540. Report your incident in as complete detail as possible.
If you receive any suspicious texts, phone calls, and emails, report them to ATO as well. You can double-check with them if any of the works and claims you received are legitimate. Reporting these questionable acts will also help prevent any future scams from happening and help save other possible victims.
Awareness is always your best protection from everything. Keep yourself updated with the latest scam acts and never forget to validate the legitimacy of all the information you receive. Another thing you can do to avoid falling for tax scams is to get service from an accounting firm that you can trust. Do not put your trust in a service you aren’t confident in. An accounting firm with an established background that is well-known in their industry has been honing their skills for years. They stay updated on the latest advancements in the industry and what they can do to protect your business from falling prey to financial scams.
Protect your business by making sure you only work with trusted accounting service providers. If you need Gold Coast accountants to help you deal with your small business finances, New Wave Accounting is here to serve you. We have helped more than 600 happy and satisfied entrepreneurs build and grow their business. Contact us today to learn how we can help.