Its tax season and everyone is rushing to file taxes. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the deadline to file ITR till August 31st 2018. Scamsters are making use of this situation to cheat taxpayers and steal money from them. Fraudsters are coming up with innovative ideas to rob money from innocent people.
Recently the cybersecurity agency, CERT-In, has warned taxpayers against a malicious 'SMShing' fraud regarding tax refunds. Many people have written on social media saying they have received a fake SMS on tax refunds. These kinds of scams may increase as the last date to file Income Tax Returns draws closer. In this blog, we will discuss scams which you need to watch out this tax season.
Fraudsters are sending emails to taxpayers from addresses which look exactly like the original government address. These emails ask taxpayers to provide their net banking details to receive refund amounts saying there is an error in calculating the tax. Fraudsters will include a link in the mail, and if you click on the link you will be taken to a net banking login page. If you log in, your bank account will be hacked.
The fake email address appears as email@example.com while the original email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. In the fake address, 'e' is missing from 'efiling' and ‘filing’ is spelt as ‘filling’.
There has been an increase in fraudulent emails which ask people to submit their income and bank details to get refunds. Providing these details gives fraudsters the ability to steal your money or carry out identity theft. So, handle such emails very carefully and save yourself from fraud.
People are receiving text messages supposedly from the IT department. The SMS says that the recipient has received an “income tax refund” and includes a bank account number. The SMS also says that if the account number mentioned is wrong, the recipient has to click on the link provided in the message and update bank account details.
If he clicks on the link, he will be taken to a web page which looks similar to the I-T Department's official website. To complete the income tax refund application, he will be asked to enter his IT department login ID, password and bank details.
With the login ID and password of the I-T department website, fraudsters can divert the I-T refund to their own accounts. They can also change the victim's phone number in the IT department records so that he won't receive any notifications on the change.
In case there are tax refunds, the income tax department will send an intimation on refunds payable through a proper notice. Do not respond to suspicious emails and SMS's which claim you have received a refund. Do not click on the link attached in the mails and never give your bank details, login name or user ID, card details, PIN number and OTP to anyone.