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A user took to Facebook recently to warn others about the scam, after she received an email which appeared to be from SARS.
“Please be warned, SARS e-filing scams have started. Got an email in my mailbox today to follow a link to get my returns and I haven’t even filed yet! Stay alert! Do not follow a link from your email. And don’t confirm banking details via email. If you’ve changed banks then you have to physically submit a hard copy at your nearest SARS office. Seems laborious, but it’s better than your accounts being hacked and emptied,” said the user.
Following this, a statement by SARS read: “You need to be aware of email scams and so we’ve created a section of the website where we will post updates of any scams we have heard about. Similarly we would like you to tell us about any emails you think are scams or phishing.”
“Members of the public are randomly emailed with false “spoofed” emails made to look as if these emails were sent from SARS, but are in fact fraudulent emails aimed at enticing unsuspecting taxpayers to part with personal information such as bank account details.
Examples include emails that appear to be from firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, indicating that tax payers are eligible to receive TAX refunds. These emails contain links to false forms and false websites made to look like the “real thing”, but with the aim of fooling people into entering personal information such as bank account details which the criminals then extract and use fraudulently.
“Please note these are scams and SARS taxpayers should take note of the following: Do not open or respond to emails from unknown sources. Beware of emails that ask for personal, tax, banking and e-Filing details (login credentials, passwords, pins, credit / debit card information, etc.) as SARS will never ask taxpayers for such information in an email. SARS will not request your banking details through the phone, email, SMS or websites.”
There are also Institution Specific Scams, falsely using the following banks as a front: Absa, Capitec, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank.
All topic specific scams are usually about audit, personal and banking details, refunds and payments. Source specific scams include email, letter/fax, phone call, SMS and website.
To report or to get more information on phishing please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 00 2870.