Nelson woman’s warning after fake IRD email almost scams her
A Nelson woman says she nearly fell for an email scam purporting to be from the Inland Revenue.
Sandra Oddie said she received an email which looked authentic two days ago.
The email referred to a tax refund of $260.
‘‘It had the IRD logo on the top of it, so it looked genuine.’’
Oddie said the email wanted to verify her details, including her IRD number, date of birth and driver licence.
She thought it was a bit suspicious when it required a detailed account of her licence.
Oddie continued to fill in her details until she came to the section which asked for her credit card number.
‘‘I thought; ’Oh god that’s not right. I left it and got out of the email.
‘‘It gave me the willies really. I thought they’re going to get me and take all my money.’’
The IRD is warning about the scam and says it has had 130 calls about it in 12 hours, and 138 notifications in the past two weeks.
Being a retiree, Oddie said she thought there may have been a ‘‘muck up’’ with her pension so she had no reason to doubt the legitimacy of the email.
‘‘You never really know who’s going to give you your money.’’
The next day Oddie called the Inland Revenue to alert them of the suspicious email where cus- tomer service told her it was a scam and they were ‘‘trying to deal with it’’.
IRD said it had taken measures through its IT security service to shut down the scammers.
Inland Revenue senior media advisor Pete van Schaardenburg said the phishing scam emailed people with a form that looked very convincing.
The email says the recipient has a tax refund waiting for them and that financial information needs to be updated to receive the refund.
Van Schaardenburg said it had taken down 11 fake websites hosting the fraudulent form which scam victims were being redirected to.
Inland Revenue says on its website it would never send an email asking for personal information or get customers to enter personal information on a third party website.
How to protect your identity: Be careful sharing personal details on social media sites.
Before entering personal, credit card or bank details on a website look for a green URL or padlock on reputable sites - fraudsters can create replicas of real websites.
Make sure you log out correctly using the ‘Logout’ link.
Lock your mail box and check mail regularly. Check bank statements closely. Organisations won’t normally call for your personal details.
Remove all personal information from electronic devices before you sell or dispose them.