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Tax time: don't get scammed

Tax time: don't get scammed

4 June 2014 - with the end of the financial year around the corner, make sure you don't get scammed.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has been aware of scams with fake IRD emails for some time. IRD have also received reports about fake IRD taxmen going door to door, claiming that they are ensuring that people are receiving their tax refunds.

IRD will never:

• send you an email with a hyperlink to a webpage that asks you to submit your personal information

• cold call you promising a tax refund

• ask you to pay money in order to release a tax return

• send a tax agent to your house without a prior appointment. If someone turns up at your house, make sure you check their identification carefully and contact the IRD office if you are concerned.

There are a few things people can do to protect themselves:

• Look after your personal details in the same way you would your wallet and other possessions. Your personal details are also very valuable to scammers. Scammers can use credit cards, claim benefits, take out loans, run up debts - all in your name.

• Never enter your personal details into a website unless you are sure it is genuine.

• Check website addresses carefully. If they're similar to a genuine company's URL, but not quite right, be wary. Never visit your bank's website by clicking on a link - type in the website address yourself.

• Don't reply to, click on any links or open any files in spam emails. Don't call any numbers in spam emails.

• Check your account statements and credit card bill to make sure no-one is accessing your accounts. Order a credit report every year to make sure no-one is using your name to borrow money or run up debts.

If you suspect you have given away your credit card details to a scammer:

• Call your bank immediately so that they can suspend your account. Ask to speak to bank staff that specialise in security or fraud for assistance.

• Credit card companies can reverse a fraudulent transaction if contacted soon enough.

Report the scam to Scamwatch .

• See Scams for more information


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