SARS warns of scam targeting taxpayers – this is what it looks like

 ·24 Mar 2023

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has seen a resurgence of a scam targeting taxpayers in South Africa.

SARS has warned of an email titled ‘SARS Letter for you’ or ‘Letter of Demand’.

According to the taxman, the email threatens the recipient with a court order and blacklisting and has a link to a phishing website where criminals attempt to extract personal financial details.

SARS said it is crucial that taxpayers do not click on any links.

Similar scams include those relating to revenue letters that demand important details, false electronic statements made to look as if they are from SARS itself and even general court orders and summons letters.

The tax authority is constantly updating its list of the latest scams, and it is available for public access. SARS has reported over 330 different types of scams to date.

One of the most common types of scams is those that impersonate SARS itself – called phishing scams.

Phishing scams involve fraudulent efforts to obtain sensitive information like passwords and credit card details through the use of fake emails, text messages, or websites.

If you are ever in doubt, it is best to email [email protected], said SARS.

For taxpayers to protect themselves from falling victim to scams, SARS said that they should be aware 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, etc.).
  • 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 SMSs.
  • SARS does not send *.htm or *.html attachments.
  • SARS will never ask for your credit card details.

Showed below is an example of the scam:

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