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SARS warns of new scam targeting taxpayers – this is what it looks like

| Crime and security

The South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) has warned South Africans to be wary of a new scam targeting taxpayers.

According to the taxman, the new scam doing the rounds comes as an email from criminals posing as authorities from the South African Police Services (SAPS) financial crimes unit.

The email is titled ‘Internal Communication’ from a fake Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) email domain.

It asks the email recipient to click on a fraudulent link to verify their identity.

SARS has urged taxpayers not to click on any links and delete the email.

SARS frequently reports on and updates its comprehensive list of over 300 scams trying to exploit the tax authority’s name. The list can be found here.

The latest scam forms part of the exhaustive list of phishing scams targeting vulnerable taxpayers. Under this specific type of scam, members of the public are randomly emailed with false ‘spoofed’ emails made to look as if these emails were sent from SARS but are actually fraudulent.

Their primary goal is to obtain sensitive personal information from a victim for monetary gain.

“These emails contain links to false forms and fake websites made to look like the “real thing”, but intending to fool people into entering personal information such as bank account details which the criminals then extract and use fraudulently,” SARS said.

SARS has further provided the following advice as to what to keep an eye out for:

  • Do not open or respond to emails from unknown sources.
  • Beware of emails that ask for personal, tax, banking and eFiling details (login credentials, passwords, pins, credit/debit card information, etc.).
  • SARS will never request your banking details in any communication that you receive via post, email, or SMS. However, for the purpose of telephonic engagement and authentication purposes, SARS will verify your personal details. Importantly, SARS will not send you any hyperlinks to other websites – even those of banks.
  • Beware of false SMSs.
  • SARS does not send *.htm or *.html attachments.
  • SARS will never ask for your credit card details.
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