It’s tax season – which also means it’s tax scam season.
Unfortunately, savvy scammers know that Kiwis expect to receive correspondence from Inland Revenue over the next few months. So the scammers create emails or texts that appear to have come from Inland Revenue (IR) to con people out of money.
These emails (or calls) can be highly convincing, so it’s important to stop and think before you share your details.
Recently a BNZ customer received an email purportedly from Inland Revenue telling her she was owed a tax refund. She clicked the link, chose her bank, and entered her details. That information went straight to scammers who made payments from her bank account totalling $41,500. None of that money was able to be recovered.
Take your time and look for the warning signs
There are signs to watch for when it comes to IR email scams:
- All tax returns are completed in the MyIR portal, which is secure. Any online link telling you it will give you a refund or help you complete your return quickly should be treated with suspicion.
- Emails from Inland Revenue never have sensitive details in them such as the amount of money you owe, or are owed.
- Phishing emails like these often have spelling errors, links that aren’t quite right, or email addresses that have one letter wrong.
- Don’t be pressured when the emails say you must act urgently – take your time and talk to us, or the IR, to check that you’ve received a genuine communication. Even if there was an urgent problem, better to pay a day’s late fees than be scammed for tens of thousands of dollars!
You can read the IR’s list of common scams and how to spot them here.
Remember, you can call (04 477 1801) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can tell you exactly what your situation is with Inland Revenue. If there is a refund we can make sure you know how to get it, and we can calculate exactly how much you need to pay.