If the off-shoring of 400 ATO jobs isn’t bad enough, writes Sir ScotchMistery, then perhaps the off-shoring of personal and sensitive client information is.
Late last week I had a call from a private number and upon answering I found myself speaking to a man with an Indian accent. I have to confess his English was perfectly nuanced and whilst the conversation didn’t develop to the point where I would hear any examples of idiomatic English, suffice it to say that I was fairly certain he would have that down pat as well.
I have no idea what his name was, though he did give it, but he introduced himself as calling from the ATO about a tax debt of less than $500 from my self-managed superannuation fund.
For a moment a note of humour raised its head as I wondered whether he would be one of the people calling Rupert Murdoch or Gina Rinehart about their current debt to the Australian economy. I have to admit I found that a doubtful scenario. I firmly believe that nobody in the ATO would dare call either of those people about their tax debts, any more than a member of Parliament would, including that arbiter of all things financial, Scott Morrison.
Once he had explained to me why he was calling I also had some explaining to do. I pointed out that I was not going to talk to anybody in India about my personal tax issues in Australia for several reasons, but the main one was that he could not prove who he was. As far as I was concerned he could well be a scam artist and as such I would not be speaking to him.
He explained to me that he was actually calling from Docklands in Melbourne, upon which notification I asked him who won the football on the weekend? He laughingly replied that he was not all that good with football, and as far as he was concerned (my words not his), that was a perfectly good reason not to be able to tell me what the football scores were irrespective the fact that you couldn’t walk past a news agency in Melbourne, nor in fact anywhere in Victoria, and not know the football scores from the weekend.
This is going to be an ongoing problem for those of us in Australia who actually care about the country.
Bearing in mind, the number of politicians promises offered to we stupid voters which have “jobs” as the final reason for a decision about whether to approve another enviro-rapists like Adani, Gina Rinehart, Twiggy Forest or Clive Palmer, the ATO at the behest of Scott Morrison off-shored 400 positions, and we poor mortals are expected to trust every wog* who rings up expecting instant obedience about a tax debt.
Not in my house Mr Morrison you idiot. We have been dealing with scams in the IT industry for the last 5 years. They are able to be started because we Australians are used to talking to Indians on behalf of our banks. Almost without exception, the scams originate in India. Only in India and Philippines have we seen examples of our credit card details being stolen and sold.
My view now is that if I am talking to the ATO and there is even a whiff of Indian about them, I will ask to be transferred to one of their (actual) Australian colleagues. As long as they cannot extend proof of their location, their position, then I am not required to talk to them, and will refuse to do so under the Privacy Act.
*worthy oriental gentlemen/women