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SARS Alerts Taxpayers about Fake ‘Refund E-mails’

SARS (South African Revenue Service) has issued an alert to the South African taxpayers that new phishing e-mails are presently circulating online. These e-mails appear genuine since they carry the authorized logo of SARS.

These scam e-mails state that there's a tax re-imbursement that the recipient can now claim.

Specifically, according to any of these e-mails, after SARS made the latest yearly computations of the fiscal operations the e-mail recipient incurred, it has been found that he/she is entitled to get 8,582.50 ZAR as tax refund.

The message continues to inform that the recipient must file a request for the tax refund fast and give a 2-3-day time-period for SARS to complete the claim's processing.

However, Adrian Lackay, Spokesperson for SARS, stated that the e-mails were completely bogus, according to a statement published by sowetan.co.za on March 18, 2010. Lackay also highlighted that people must overlook as well as erase them. The messages were just like those fraudulent e-mails that circulated across newsrooms as well as amidst the public

The Spokesperson added that anytime a taxpayer comes across such a scam e-mail, he should immediately contact the call center for SARS and confirm whether it really sent that message.

Moreover, SARS too warns the citizens that they need to be vigilant of any suspicious operation, both during pre and post filing of tax returns, since it's quite possible that scammers will target the public on these occasions.

The tax office (SARS) further alerts taxpayers about e-mails which solicit banking, tax, eFiling and other personal information, including passwords, login credentials, payment card details and PINs. According to the agency, SARS will never ever request taxpaying consumers to provide these details via e-mail.

Meanwhile, SARS notes that anyone requiring advice or help regarding their tax or potential fraud can report through the agency's 'suspicious operation' form. He can also call up the corruption and fraud hotline of the tax agency.

As in South Africa, the Income Tax Department in India and the Internal Revenue Service in the U.S. are also asking taxpayers to watch out for ongoing fake e-mail scams. In simple words, these scams are a worldwide phenomenon, which victimize numerous individuals every year, financial and security specialists said.

Related article: Surge in Spam attack

» SPAMfighter News - 3/27/2010

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