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SARS Alerts Citizens about Phishing Campaign

As per the news reports from 'South African Revenue Service,' commonly referred to as SARS, an e-mail scam is presently targeting the tax agency.

SARS states that many citizens of South Africa are randomly receiving a 'hoax' e-mail whose sender's address shows a fake id, returns@sars.co.za, and which says that the recipients are entitled to a tax reimbursement of ZAR 1484.40.

Moreover, the e-mail urges the recipients (taxpayers) to give SARS 48 hours in which it could complete the processing of their tax compensation.

However, the phishing e-mail, in attempts to sound genuine and legitimate, states that there could be delay in transferring the tax rebate to the recipients for various reasons like applying post the due data, or submitting wrong records.

In the end, the fraudulent e-mail signs off supposedly from the South African Revenue Service and has provided a Document number to lend the message a touch of authenticity.

SARS said it has nothing to do with the particular scam distributing the fraudulent messages. The agency also posted a formal phishing notice on its website.

The notice alerts people receiving the phishing e-mail that the URL given in the message connects to an online site that closely resembles the SARS eFiling website and instructs users to enter personal information like name, credit card details including the Personal Identity Number (PIN) of the card, and bank details in the request form prior to proceeding for the 'submit' button.

Describing the e-mail, SARS said it is a spoofed message and taxpayers should not respond to it with their banking information, as reported by scamstop.wordpress on June 26, 2009.

The tax agency further advises e-mail recipients to keep their information protected and do not let themselves to be victimized with the current or similar scams that try to 'phish' personal details.

Furthermore, if anybody has any queries regarding the e-mails and/or his own safety, he could contact SARS for help. The agency also suggests e-mail users to dial the hotline number 0800-00-2870 of the Fraud and Anti-Corruption body for reporting any phishing fraud.

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