Pretoria: The South African Revenue Service says there has been an increase in the number of email scams in which the company’s name and logo is being used.
Members of the public are randomly emailed with false emails made to look as if these emails were sent from SARS, but are in fact fraudulent emails aimed at enticing unsuspecting tax payers to part with personal information such as bank account details, said SARS in a statement on Monday.
The scammers are sending the emails from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org addresses.
The emails are believed to contain links to false forms and false websites made to look like the real thing, but with the objective of fooling people into entering personal information such as bank account details which the criminals then extract and use fraudulently.
SARS warned taxpayers not to open or respond to emails from unknown sources and to be aware of emails that ask for personal, tax, banking and eFiling details such as login credentials, passwords, pins, credit/debit card information, etc.
“SARS will never ask taxpayers for such information in an email. SARS will not request your banking details over the phone, or via email or websites,” it said.
Current scams include:
– a fake email with the subject title ‘Your payment from SARS’ with a link in the email and the wording ‘You have an important message from SARS eFiling’.
– a fake email with the subject title ‘Your payment from SARS’ with a link to select your bank and the wording ‘R9,414.70 has been paid to you from SARS e-filing. In other to process and confirm select your financial institution to deposit tour funds.’
– a fake email with the subject title ‘Your payment from SARS’ and the wording ‘Dear Taxpayer, Accept your refund here from the Refund Section.’
– a fake email from ABSA informing email recipient of money paid into their account and asking to the recipient to login into a phishing website to verify information.
Taxpayers who are concerned about emails or sms messages claiming to be from SARS should visit the SARS website www.sars.gov.za or email email@example.com or call the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 00 2870, or call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.