SARS warns about fraudulent refund scams

Business News

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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) on Wednesday said it is aware of several incidents where fraudulent or unauthorised changes of tax practitioners and /or taxpayers’ eFiling profiles have been made with the sole intention to defraud SARS and affected taxpayers.

These fraudulent activities are carried out by individuals who gain access to eFiling profiles through phishing or other nefarious scams to change a legitimate taxpayer’s bank details to divert refunds. These individuals also submit fraudulent tax returns to generate refunds.

To safeguard eFiling profiles, tax practitioners are urged to ensure that profile credentials are not shared within their practices or companies. The public is urged to always be alert for phishing scams that call for the sharing of sensitive identity and banking details.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter sent a strong message to fraudsters engaged in this criminal enterprise of swindling honest taxpayers. “Let me leave no one in doubt about SARS’ capacity and capability to deal a massive blow to those hell-bent on these criminal activities. Working with other law enforcement agencies, SARS will leave no stone unturned to hunt and find these criminals. This is no idle threat, be warned.”

Incidents of fraudulent or unauthorised changes of eFiling profiles can be reported to the SARS Anti-Corruption and Fraud Hotline on ‪0800 00 2870. Taxpayers and tax practitioners are urged not to use social media platforms, such as Facebook, to report such incidents or disclose sensitive information. 

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