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SARS Warned Taxpayers about Two Different E-mail Scam

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) alerted taxpayers on February 9, 2009 against two e-mail scam using 'SARS' name to deceive them to reveal their personal and other critical information.

SARS officials said in a statement that the organization wished to alert taxpayers about a number of e-mail scams currently circulating on the Net to phish off money from taxpayers and to siege other personal details.

As per news reports, the first scam includes sending of e-mails to unsuspecting taxpayers to inform that they are eligible for tax refunds. The e-mail then directs them to fill up the refund form to receive the fake refund.

SARS further revealed that the refund form featured the official SARS eFiling logo and asked taxpayers to furnish their credit and debit card number and PINs.

Moreover, the second e-mail scam also featured SARS eFiling logo and targeted against VAT vendors to dupe them into making all VAT payments in a fake bank account.

Adrian Lackay, Spokesperson, SARS, said that the e-mail was fake and associated with a scam as SARS didn't send any such e-mail to taxpayers, as reported by news24 on February 9, 2009.

Lackay further said that the investigation to find out the perpetrator behind the scam continued, as reported by BussinessDay on February 10, 2009. Moreover, SARS' criminal investigation divisions and SA Police Service have been informed about both the scams targeting taxpayers.

SARS recommended that taxpayers should be very careful while sharing their personal and banking details with anyone. Such critical information should not be provided over e-mail, fax, Internet and telephone without ascertaining the identity of the recipient. If scammers get this information, the possibility of cleaning out money from the user's account escalates.

Similarly, Australian Tax Office (ATO) released a warning for Internet users about an e-mail scam that asks for updation of personal and credit card details in lieu of tax refund. Moreover, ATO revealed that the e-mail included Tax Office logo and heading "Get Refunds On Your Master Card Or Visa" in the subject section.

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