Two Perth seniors have lost more than $10,000 in an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) scam after the criminals used scare tactics to threaten the women.
A 69-year-old woman received a call from a scammer claiming to be from the ATO, offering a $70,000 rebate, but was told she had to first send $10,000 before receiving the money.
In a separate case, a 74-year-old woman was told she had to pay a tax bill by the end of the day or she would be arrested.
The woman sent $500 initially and then a further $2900 was demanded, but she cancelled the second payment after discovering it was a scam.
Consumer Protection commissioner Anne Driscoll said the threatening nature of the calls was concerning.
"The ATO scam has been around for many years, but I am concerned that the scammers are now turning to threatening tactics to coerce their victims into transferring money in order to get fictitious refunds or rebates," she said.
"Seniors are especially vulnerable to these types of pressure tactics, so we must warn them and others that the ATO will never ask for funds in this way.
"If in doubt, contact the ATO independently to verify if the call was genuine, but don't use any contact numbers or email addresses given by the caller."
Ms Driscoll said unsure people should ask for a written assessment to be posted to their home.
"Remember that the tax office know who you are, so don't provide any information to callers," she said.
So far this year, 10 people have reported to WA ScamNet with a total loss of almost $25,000 to the ATO scam.