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SARS scams and phishing attacks

Tuesday, 06 November 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SAIT Technical
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By SARS Legal & Policy

There is a steady increase in email scams and phishing attacks in which the SARS brand is being abused. Members of the public are randomly emailed with false "spoofed” emails made to look as if these emails were sent from SARS, but are in fact fraudulent emails aimed at enticing unsuspecting tax payers to part with personal information such as bank account details”. Examples include emails to appear to be from, or indicating that tax payers are eligible to receive TAX refunds. These emails contain links to false forms and false websites made to look like the "real thing”, but with the objective to fool people into entering personal information such as bank account details which the criminals then extract and use fraudulently.

Please note these are scams and SARS taxpayers should take note of the following:

  • Do not open or respond to emails from unknown sources.
  • Beware of emails that ask for personal, tax, banking and eFiling details (login credentials, passwords, pins, credit / debit card information, etc) as SARS will never ask taxpayers for such information in an email.
  • SARS will not request your banking details through the phone, email or websites.
  • Beware of false sms's.
  • How to Detect If a Website Is Fraudulent?
  • Click here to learn about Identity Fraud

To report or to get more information on phishing, please send an email call the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 00 2870.

The latest phishing/scam emails:

  • 24 October 2012 - Scam - Transfer Block Instruction -fake memo's from SARS and FNB and an email to the taxpayer to arrange for payment of an amount into an account. The scamster will then ask for the 'amount' to be refunded as it would have been paid in error, although it was never transferred. Click here to see the:
  • 23 October 2012 - Phishing scam - fake email from ABSAasking taxpayers to enter theirRVN pinthey've received via their cell phones to validate banking details.Click here to see the fake email.

  • 23 October 2012 - Phishing scam - fake email from ABSAasking taxpayers to cerify their bank details.Click here to see the fake email.

  • 16 October 2012 - Phishing scam - e-Tax Report Notification
    SARS is currently seeing an increase in "phishing” attempts which claim to be communications from SARS. The most recent, with a subject line of "e-Tax Report Notification”, askes recipients to download an attachment which will allow them to confirm details and make payments. The attachment is likely to be a virus or malware. There are a number of indication that the email is fraudulent. The first is the address it is sent from. These vary from"” to"”. None of these are SARS email addresses – all SARS email addresses will end with"”. Second, the email refers to the "Internal Revenue Service (IRS)” – this is not a South African institution. Third, the email address provided for comments is incorrect and if emailed sends an immediate failure message. Most computer antivirus settings are preventing recipients of these emails from downloading the attachment, which is clearly a phishing scam.

  • 27 September 2012 - Fake email allegedly from Capitec Bankasking the client to click on a link to validate a payment from SARS eFiling.Click here to see the email.

  • 7 September 2012 - Phishing scam -another fake email from ABSA asking you to click on a link to eFile. Please don't click on the link and delete the email.Click here to see the email.

  • 5 September 2012 - Phishing scam -beware of a fake ABSA emailsaying an amount from eFiling was deposited into your account,click here to see the email.



Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

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