Email of­fer­ing tax re­funds a scam: Iras

Today - - SINGAPORE | NEWS -

SIN­GA­PORE — The In­land Rev­enue Author­ity of Sin­ga­pore (Iras) has warned the pub­lic against click­ing on a scam email that prom­ises tax re­funds and is made to look like it came from the tax author­ity.

The email, ti­tled In­land Rev­enue Author­ity of Sin­ga­pore-Re­fund-On­line-Con­fir­ma­tion, has been cir­cu­lat­ing on­line, it said in a press re­lease yes­ter­day.

Those who re­ceive the email are told that they are el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive a tax re­fund, and all they have to do is to click on a link pro­vided to down­load and com­plete a form.

The Iras warns on­line users not to re­spond to the email or click on the link. The author­ity says they should delete it and re­frain from open­ing it. They should also scan their com­put­ers or mo­bile de­vices with anti-virus pro­grammes.

To help pro­tect them­selves from scams, phish­ing and other on­line fraud, mem­bers of the pub­lic are ad­vised to re­fer to Iras’ ad­vi­sory on scam and fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­i­ties on its of­fi­cial web­site.

Govern­ment agen­cies have been warn­ing the pub­lic of scams in which the cul­prits im­per­son­ate pub­lic of­fi­cers or pre­tend to con­tact them and make re­quests on their be­half.

In May, the po­lice told of scam­mers us­ing caller-ID spoof­ing tech­nol­ogy to dis­play a fake num­ber, mak­ing it seem like the pub­lic is get­ting calls from the po­lice hot­line num­ber.

That same month, Sin­ga­pore Cus­toms urged mem­bers of the pub­lic not to fall for the ploy of im­pos­tors, who send scam emails say­ing they are Cus­toms of­fi­cials and then de­mand con­fi­den­tial per­sonal in­for­ma­tion or money from the tar­geted vic­tims.

The emails typ­i­cally con­tain in­struc­tions to either open an email link or a file at­tach­ment, or to trans­fer money to ac­counts be­long­ing to an in­di­vid­ual, or to pro­vide bank ac­count de­tails, or to give in­for­ma­tion such as iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­bers, passwords and/or credit card num­bers.

There have also been re­ports this year of how fake web­sites of govern­ment agen­cies, such as those of the po­lice and the Im­mi­gra­tion & Check­points Author­ity (ICA), are be­ing used to fool the pub­lic.

The links to such phish­ing sites are usu­ally shared over the phone by scam call­ers, and the vic­tims are conned into pro­vid­ing con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion such as credit card de­tails and In­ter­net bank­ing cre­den­tials on the fake site for “in­ves­ti­ga­tion pur­poses”.

In one case, a 41-year-old woman lost more than S$80,000 af­ter she keyed in her per­sonal de­tails and In­ter­net bank­ing cre­den­tials on the fake site, when she was told that she was a sus­pect in a money-laun­der­ing case.

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