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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) warns that its brand is increasingly being abused in a number of email scams and phishing attacks.
SARS says members of the public are being sent “spoofed” emails that are made to look as if they came from SARS. These fraudulent emails are aimed at persuading you to divulge personal information, such as your bank account details.
SARS says examples of the scams are emails from “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com” that state that you are eligible for a tax refund. These emails contain links to forms and websites set up by criminals for the purpose of extracting and using the information you enter.
SARS says it will never ask you in an email for your personal, tax, banking or eFiling details, and you should be wary of any emails that ask you for this information.
Do not divulge your banking details over the telephone or via a website to anyone who claims to be from SARS, it says.
SARS says the phishing emails you should watch out for include:
* An email with the subject line “Your payment from SARS” that has a link and the words “You have an important message from SARS eFiling”.
* An email with the subject line “Your payment from SARS” with a link to select your bank and the words “R9 414.70 has been paid to you from SARS eFiling. In order to process and confirm, select your financial institution to deposit your funds.”
* An email with the subject line “Your payment from SARS” and the words “Dear taxpayer, accept your refund here from the refund section”.
* An email purporting to be from Absa informing you that money has been paid into your account and asking you to log in to verify certain information.
If you have concerns about an email or SMS that claims to be from SARS, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the fraud and anti-corruption hotline on 0800 00 2870, or phone the SARS contact centre on 0800 00 7277.