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SARS-linked Hoaxes - 25/01/2010

posted 3 Aug 2010, 01:13 by Carl Nielsen   [ updated 3 Aug 2010, 01:15 ]

I guess by now most of us are back in the swing of things. I certainly am! I
hope everyone had a chance to get a little bit of rest at least around
Christmas and New Year and I wish everyone all the very best in 2010.

Quite a number of my clients have approached me for advice regarding emails
they have received telling them they have refunds due. These are *always*
hoaxes attempt to phish your bank details out of you so that the senders of
the email can attempt to steal from you. I recently was alerted to another
one (see below) and so thought I'd put out a general warning to everyone
about these things.

For most of my clients, I have registered your tax affairs on eFiling and so
communications from SARS about taxes, including refunds, will come to me
using that service. Therefore it is almost impossible that SARS would
contact you directly regarding a refund.

Also, the phishing emails often come with a bogus form attached requesting
banking and sometimes even credit card details. No reputable business (and
SARS is reasonably reputable) would ever request information in this way.

Sometimes you'll notice that the email address from which the email has come
doesn't add up. For example, in the hoax email below, it comes from an
address at sars.co.za. All sars email correspondence is from sars.gov.za or

And SARS seems to have fairly good proofreaders employed so poor english in
an email is another give-away.

If you're not sure, by all means ask me... or ask google. Cut and paste a
snippet of the email that captures its essence into a google search window
and you'll soon know if it's a hoax you're dealing with. You can do this
with all sort of SPAM that you might come into contact with: from fake
warnings about viruses and other malicious software to fake claims that
someone (e.g. Microsoft) is wanting to give you something for free.

Hope this is of some use to you.

Again, all the very best for 2010.