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Indian Government Warns Users of Fake IT Refund E-mails

Several e-mails propagating over the Internet claiming to be coming from the Income Tax Department of India are asking the users to provide their online banking details, according to the security experts.

However, the IT officials said that the Income Tax Department does not send such e-mails, and it probably could be a phishing scam to acquire the users' credit card details, as per the news published by Press Trust of India on October 7, 2009.

Further, giving details of the phishing attack, B.K. Goyal, Director, Mieco Pumps and Generators, stated that he received such an e-mail, according to which of the recipient was declared eligible for a tax refund of Rs 820.50, according to the last annual calculation of his/her fiscal activity, as per the news published by express buzz on October 7, 2009. It further requested the user to submit the tax refund form and asked for 3-5 business days to process it. In order to access that form for the purported tax refund, he was asked to click on a link.

When the recipient clicks on the link, he is redirected to a website that asks for details like ATM number, credit card number and PIN number. Goyal, in this case, was sensible enough to suspect that something was wrong with the e-mail. However, unaware users generally fall prey to such phishing assaults.

Moreover, the IT department had been reported of the scam from several quarters that users are receiving e-mails on the department's behalf informing them about income-tax refunds to obtain their credit card details.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) clarified in a statement that the IT department does not send refund-related e-mails to users and also does not ask for any information regarding the credit card of taxpayers, as per the news published by Press Trust of India on October 7, 2009.

Security experts in the meantime have strongly recommended taxpayers not to provide their credit card details or any other personal/financial details asked in the e-mails that claim to be coming from the Income Tax Department.

Related article: Indian Financial Industry Facing Rising Online Fraud

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