Nel­son woman’s warn­ing af­ter fake IRD email al­most scams her

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - CARLY GOOCH

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.

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