Singapore

Email offering tax refunds a scam: Iras

Email offering tax refunds a scam: Iras
The email, titled Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore-Refund-Online-Confirmation, promises tax refunds and has been circulating online, Iras said on Tuesday (Sept 12). Photo: AP
Published: 4:00 AM, September 13, 2017
Updated: 8:01 AM, September 13, 2017

SINGAPORE — The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) has warned the public against clicking on a scam email that promises tax refunds and is made to look like it came from the tax authority.

The email, titled Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore-Refund-Online-Confirmation, has been circulating online, it said in a press release yesterday.

Those who receive the email are told that they are eligible to receive a tax refund, and all they have to do is to click on a link provided to download and complete a form.

The Iras warns online users not to respond to the email or click on the link. The authority says they should delete it and refrain from opening it. They should also scan their computers or mobile devices with anti-virus programmes.

To help protect themselves from scams, phishing and other online fraud, members of the public are advised to refer to Iras’ advisory on scam and fraudulent activities on its official website.

Government agencies have been warning the public of scams in which the culprits impersonate public officers or pretend to contact them and make requests on their behalf.

In May, the police told of scammers using caller-ID spoofing technology to display a fake number, making it seem like the public is getting calls from the police hotline number.

That same month, Singapore Customs urged members of the public not to fall for the ploy of impostors, who send scam emails saying they are Customs officials and then demand confidential personal information or money from the targeted victims.

The emails typically contain instructions to either open an email link or a file attachment, or to transfer money to accounts belonging to an individual, or to provide bank account details, or to give information such as identification numbers, passwords and/or credit card numbers.

There have also been reports this year of how fake websites of government agencies, such as those of the police and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), are being used to fool the public.

The links to such phishing sites are usually shared over the phone by scam callers, and the victims are conned into providing confidential information such as credit card details and Internet banking credentials on the fake site for “investigation purposes”.

In one case, a 41-year-old woman lost more than S$80,000 after she keyed in her personal details and Internet banking credentials on the fake site, when she was told that she was a suspect in a money-laundering case.