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Scammers target IRD customers

By Shannon Williams
Wed 14 Sep 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Are you a victim of identity theft?

According to Inland Revenue, the most common methods used by fraudsters to collect someone's personal information are email and phone scams.

These include phoning and claiming to be from Inland Revenue, or sending an email that appears to come from Inland Revenue or a tax refund agency.

Inland Revenue says phone and email scams target their customers, including phishing scams that use someone’s private information to pretend to be that person and gain access to resources or benefits.

“Criminals use email scams known as phishing to get your personal information and money. They send out fraudulent emails to thousands of customers every day, usually promising things such as tax refunds,” the organisation says on its website.

“Email scams may include a website link which will direct you to a false webpage. This webpage will usually be a very good replica of the real website page,” Inland Revenue warns.

“You may be asked to enter personal Inland Revenue information, eg, your myIR Secure Online Services user ID and password. Clicking on the link in the email may also trigger a virus to be downloaded onto your computer. Both of these actions will allow the fraudster access to your Inland Revenue information and other personal information.”

Inland Revenue says scammers claiming to be from Inland Revenue are cold calling people to say they are being investigated for tax fraud.

“The scammer requests personal information including the person's IRD number, before threatening them with legal action. In some cases people are told they must pay a debt urgently or face jail,” it says.

“Some people have also reported scammers leaving voicemails stating the recipient is subject to criminal action for tax fraud, leaving a phone number for the person to return the call.”

Inland Revenue says more and more phishing email scams are appearing with the Inland Revenue logo on them. “These are to fool people into believing they are genuine and that you are eligible for a tax refund,” the organisation says.

Reporting scams

We investigate and take action on reports of phishing and new attempts will be posted to this website.

If you receive a suspicious email, SMS scam message or a fraudulent call please email phishing@ird.govt.nz and include:

  • the email received, or
  • the number that the text message or phone number (CallerID) originated from
  • any names and call-back numbers given by the text sender or phone caller
  • details about the scam including:
    • the amount of tax refund quoted
    • the reference number
    • the information requested, and
    • any other relevant information.
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