SARS scam warning for taxpayers

 ·7 May 2024

The South African Revenue Service has alerted taxpayers to several new scams that are doing the rounds.

In the past month, fraudulent messages and emails have been doing the rounds as part of typical phishing attempts, but trying to get one over taxpayers by focusing on new topics.

These include:

  • Threats of SARS issuing court summonses against taxpayers
  • Threats of SARS blacklisting taxpayers
  • Threats of SARS issuing stop orders on accounts
  • Notice of correspondence relating to solar
  • Notice of outstanding amounts owed to taxpayers

Examples of these scams and more can be seen on SARS’ scams page.

The email addresses these emails are sent from are either unrelated to official SARS channels or try to convince recipients they are legit by mimicking .gov addresses.

The rise in scams focusing on blacklisting and court summonses comes at a time when SARS is upping the ante in terms of prosecutions and convictions against non-compliant taxpayers.

In previous scams, emails that appear to be from [email protected] or [email protected], indicate that taxpayers are eligible to receive tax refunds.

These tend to do the rounds when taxpayers are expecting tax returns.

This shows that criminals and scammers are keeping a close eye on the revenue service’s actions and adjusting their modus operandi to take advantage.

SARS has previously noted that if taxpayers are unsure about the legitimacy of an email purporting to come from the taxman, they should be sent on to [email protected].

To best protect themselves from such scams, SARS noted that taxpayers 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 you receive via post, email, or SMS. However, for the purpose of telephonic engagement and authentication, SARS will verify your personal details. Importantly, SARS will not send you 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.

Read: SARS is not messing around – with jail time and fines coming fast

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