Ever had a gripe about the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on Facebook? Or asked a question about the tax office on Twitter?

Suddenly, as if on cue, a friendly ATO staffer pops up to address your concerns: “I’m from the Australian Taxation Office – I can help you.”

Except this person is not from the ATO.

And they are in no way interested in helping you.

They are a scammer seeking to earn your trust before asking for personal details and requesting you click on a malicious link.

The government is warning Australians to be aware of tax office impersonation scams.

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones, said people should exercise “extreme caution” in their social media interactions.

“Fake tax officer accounts on Twitter and Facebook can be extremely convincing, which is what makes this scam so insidious,” Jones said.

“The Tax Office will never ask for personal information over social media and never send links that ask you to fill out your personal information like your tax file number, myGov log in or bank account details.”

He said the ATO is working with social media platforms to “remove these damaging interactions”.