SARS warns of scammers stealing tax refunds through eFiling profiles

sars efiling tax refund scam

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has warned taxpayers about scammers who are stealing refunds by gaining access to eFiling profiles.

The tax service says that there have been a number of incidents where attempts have been made to defraud SARS and taxpayers.

The scam involves making changes to the details of eFiling profiles of tax practitioners or taxpayers. Cybercriminals change a taxpayer’s bank details on SARS eFiling to divert tax refunds.

They also submit fake tax returns to generate tax refunds from SARS.

According to SARS, scammers gain access to these profiles through phishing or other scams.

“SARS takes all necessary steps to mitigate security breaches of our information systems and there is no evidence of the SARS systems being hacked, instead they remain secure,” the tax service said in a statement.

What is SARS doing to prevent scams stealing tax refunds?

SARS says that it has implemented a number of changes to increase the security of profiles.

“These changes include a process to advise tax practitioners when their access to taxpayer/client profiles are removed as well as an enhanced personal income tax and eFiling registration process, amongst others,” the revenue service said.

However, SARS has also urged practitioners to not share profile credentials, even within their companies. They also noted that eFiling user access needs to be routinely reviewed.

SARS adds that practices need to revoke employee access when required, especially after an employee leaves the company.

Meanwhile, taxpayers are urged to remain aware of phishing scams used to steal their details.

You can report unauthorised changes to your profile to the SARS Anti-Corruption and Fraud Hotline on 0800 00 2870.

The revenue service urged people not to use social media to report incidents or disclose sensitive information.

Read more: SARS warns of new eFiling administrative penalty scam

Megan Ellis, Editor
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