Customers of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) have been a target of aggressive telephone scammers who are demanding money for tax bills they do not owe, and threatening actions such as deportation and prison if the bill is not paid.
We have received at least 18 reports of scammers telephoning our customers claiming they owe money and we are working hard to shut this down.
The scam threatens the caller that if they do not go to a NZ Post Shop and makes a deposit into a (fake) bank account, they will be deported, face court action or jail time.
In some cases, people have been directed to purchase a ‘Prezzy Card’ and load it with the amount owed.
The caller ID that appears when the scammer telephones is identical to our 0800 number.
A victim fell foul to this aggressive scam, purchased 11 Prezzy Cards, loaded them with cash and gave the unique numbers of the card to the scammers who took his money.
He also deposited $6500 into a fake bank account.
We do not want any more of our customers falling for this scam. We would like to ensure that all information about our customers are safe and secure.
Remember these simple things:
We ask all our customers to keep their IRD numbers, tax information, online passwords and all other data safe at all times.
If you have received a phone call and are suspicious, please hang up immediately.
If you have replied and given money or provided details, please contact your bank or credit card provider immediately.
Use our online services and secure mail to communicate with us. It is fast, easy and safe.
IRD will never call its customers from its 0800 number
We will never demand payments to be made through NZ Post or a Prezzy card.
Always use strong passwords that have at least eight characters and a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols.
Never share your passwords with anyone – even someone you trust might accidentally give away your password.
If you are suspicious about a phone call, hang up!
If someone knocks at your door, always ask for appropriate ID, and if you are suspicious, close the door.
Please report these scams by email to email@example.com
Inland Revenue is continuing to work with phone companies and the National Cyber Security Centre of the New Zealand Police to track this hoax number and shut it down.
Abdul Rafik is Inland Revenue’s Community Compliance Officer based in Auckland. He is happy to answer readers’ queries, which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: www.ird.govt.nz; www.charities.govt.nz