Pensioner loses $110,000 in fake ATO scam; Health club owner fined for standing down worker who questioned their entitlements: Midday Roundup

Pensioner loses $110,000 in fake ATO scam; Health club owner fined for standing down worker who questioned their entitlements: Midday Roundup

An 81-year-old man from Western Australia has fallen victim to an end-of-financial-year tax scam that cost the pensioner $110,000.

The ABC reports the man was contacted over the phone by people claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office, who said he would be jailed and his three children would lose their jobs if the full amount was not paid immediately.

Consumer Protection has said it was the largest loss on record to this type of scam reported in WA, with Consumer Protection Commissioner Anne Driscoll saying in a statement she was alarmed by the aggressive nature of the calls.

“I am concerned the increasingly threatening nature of the ATO scam calls is intimidating many in our community, including seniors, with the urgent demands forcing victims to respond and lose their money to these heartless and ruthless criminals,” Driscoll said.

 

Health club owner fined for standing down worker who questioned their entitlements

 

The owner of two health clubs in Launceston, Tasmania, has been ordered to compensate a former casual fitness instructor who was stood down for questioning his entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman said in a statement the standing down was unlawful and ruled that the employee be reimbursed $2179 for lost wages after the companies, EFM Windsor and EFM Launceston, were given many opportunities to resolve the matter.

The owner of the EFM health clubs has now entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman as an alternative to litigation.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said in the statement employees cannot be stood down as a result of asking about their wages and conditions.

“It is every worker’s right to make an inquiry or complaint in relation to their employment, without fear of reprisal,” James said.

 

Shares rebound after slump

 

Australian shares have rebounded after yesterday’s slump, which coincided with the end of the financial year.

Tristan Knell, head of trading at Quay Equities, said in a statement the market appeared to be pegging back large losses on Monday, but Greece’s default combined with a “subdued Wall Street session” left it struggling to make any significant headway.

“The Greece default was expected and somewhat priced into market action to start the week. However, the market continues to be uncertain of the long-term impact of the upcoming referendum and the impact on the Eurozone long term,” he said.

Knell says strength in the banking and energy sectors helped drive today’s gains.

“ANZ (+0.65%), CBA (+0.93%), NAB (+0.81%) all leading the charge while the energy sector profiting from a jump in Crude Oil, saw Santos (+2.04%), Oil Search (+2.10%) and Woodside (+1.08%) back in the black today,” he said.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 0.5%, up 28 points to 5487 at 12.06pm AEST.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed up 0.13%, rising 23.16 points to 17619.5.

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