How to check if a SARS email or SMS is a scam

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is warning taxpayers about a number of new scams, spoofing communication that appears to be from the revenue collector.

The latest scam has seen members of the public randomly contacted with false emails made to look like they were sent from SARS.

However, the revenue service warned that these are in fact fraudulent emails aimed at enticing unsuspecting taxpayers to part with personal information such as bank account details.

“Examples include emails that appear to be from [email protected] or [email protected] indicating that taxpayers are eligible to receive tax refunds.

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

When receiving these fraudulent emails, SARS said that taxpayers should take note of the following:

  • 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);
  • 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 SMSes;
  • SARS does not send .htm or .html attachments;
  • SARS will never ask for your credit card details.

Below SARS provided examples of the latest scams targeting taxpayers:


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How to check if a SARS email or SMS is a scam