Manila Bulletin

BIR un­cov­ers elec­tronic fil­ing scam

- By JUN RAMIREZ

The Bureau of In­ter­nal Rev­enue (BIR) has un­cov­ered a new scam lur­ing elec­tronic tax fil­ers to un­wit­tingly re­veal their trade se­cret to fraud­sters.

It was not im­me­di­ately known how many tax­pay­ers fil­ing their re­turns via the elec­tronic fil­ing and pay­ment sys­tem (eFPS) have been vic­tim­ized by trick­sters.

BIR Deputy Com­mis­sioner for In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem La­nee David ad­vised tax­pay­ers to be ex­tra care­ful and check the ac­tual email ad­dress of the BIR, or sim­ply ig­nore such false mes­sages.

Ms. David said she has al­ready or­dered an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to pro­tect and main­tain the in­tegrity of the elec­tronic fil­ing sys­tem.

One such fake email was sent to a Que­zon City businessma­n ad­vis­ing him “this email in­di­cated that your e-fil­ing ac­count has been sus­pended. Please fol­low the link to re­ac­ti­vate your EFPS ac­count.”

The mes­sage in­structed him to click and link his email to a fake web­site.

The fraud is com­monly re­ferred to as “phish­ing” which is de­fined by Wikipedia as “an at­tempt to ob­tain sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion such as user­names, pass­words and credit card de­tails (and in­di­rectly money), often for ma­li­cious rea­sons, by dis­guis­ing as a trust­wor­thy en­tity in an elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

BIR sources be­lieve that the scam is the work of a busi­ness ri­val or a dis­grun­tled em­ployee of the tax­payer to se­ri­ously in­con­ve­nience him.

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