Scammers ready to con over automatic tax refunds

Scammers ready to con over automatic tax refunds

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Wellington, January 13, 2019

Automatic tax refunds are coming and scammers are already at work, says a press note from Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

The Department recently sent emails about automatic tax assessments and other initiatives in the biggest change to the tax system in a generation.

IRD Customer Segment Leader Bernadette Newman warned against the scam, which involves an email.

Ensure authenticity

“The email asks you to complete the steps below to release money owed to you. There is a link to fill in a form with advice to ‘just fill it in and get your returns in order now. When you receive an e-mail like this, purporting to come from IRD, don’t click on it,  but use your mouse to hover the web address and make sure that it is a real Inland Revenue website,” she said.

Ms Newman said that during the past few months, IRD has dispatched more than two million emails as part of its ‘Changing for you’ Campaign and more will be sent soon.

If the proposed changes go ahead, automatic tax refunds can be issued to eligible customers if IRD holds your up-to-date bank account information. This can be updated through myIR, the secure online portal, which is password protected.

“You will know that you are in safe hands if you have been directed to myIR where a valid log-in is required. Unfortunately, scammers and phishers will try to take advantage of the volume of email that we are sending and try to access bank accounts and steal people’s money,” she said.

It’s important to know what a fraudulent e-mail looks like.

Inland Revenue will never (a) email you with the amount of your refund (only within myIR) or send you an email, knock on your door or phone you, promising a tax refund (b) ask you to pay money to release a tax refund (c) send you an email with a hyperlink to a webpage that asks you to submit your personal information (d) demand payments through NZ Post or a gift card.

If you receive a text scam message or a fraudulent call, please email phishing@ird.govt.nz

https://www.ird.govt.nz/identity-security/scam/scam-alert.html for more tips, how to confirm or report a scam.

https://www.netsafe.org.nz/scam-tips/ also has useful tips on how to recognise a scam.

Image from IRD website

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