Income Tax Refund Emails to Update Your Information: Fact Check


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Income Tax Refund Emails to Update Your Information

Story:

Emails Sub: Your Income Tax Refund

Dear Valued Taxpayer,

We regret to inform you that your tax refund request was NOT processed successfully. This is believed to have been caused by the submission of incorrect/inaccurate account information.

However, after the last account audition, the total refund payable to you is now 42,320.00 INR. Please follow the link below to re-submit refund request and this time, endeavor to fill in your information accurately to avoid further delay in the remittance of your tax refunds into your account.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A REFUND REQUEST

Note: Your request will be processed within a period of ten (10) working days

We appreciate taking the time to learn about our tax refund. It’s one more way Income tax department can make your tax payment experience better.

Tax Refund Department

Department of revenue,

Ministry of finance,

India

Other Versions

Dear Sir,

You have been approved an income tax refund of Rs. 15,490 / -, the amount will be credited to your account shortly. Please verify your account number 5XXXXX6755. If this is not correct, please update your bank account information by visiting the link below.

<Link>

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Fact Check:

Some people are receiving Emails and SMS messages claiming they are eligible for Income Tax Refund of certain amount. In order to get the tax refund, the messages ask the recipient to update or correct his personal, bank or card information following a hyperlink in the message. Do not fall for them; they are Phishing Emails and SMS messages coming from scamsters.

About the Income Tax Refund Emails and SMS Messages

These Emails and SMS messages appear in different variants, convincing the recipients they are coming from Income Tax Department of Government. The sender’s email address shall be similar to the original Government one. When clicked, the accompanying link also takes the recipient to a website similar to one of Income Tax Department. Some of the messages say the recipient won certain amount of money in income tax refund and can claim the same by following the link and giving necessary information. Others say the recipient’s tax refund request was not processed successfully because of inaccurate or incorrect information. Again, they ask the recipient to follow the link and provide necessary information.

Note, these messages appear more during season of filing income-tax returns, when people who claimed Tax refund in their Income Tax return shall be waiting for the same. These SMS and emails often have grammatical or spelling errors and the phishing campaigns usually use popular URL shortening services like bitly and others.

How the Scam Works

Clicking the link, in most cases, will take you to a website looking like official Income Tax Department. Government of India’s Income Tax Department website is incometaxindia.gov.in. The Phishing website will ask you to give your Bank account, Credit/Debit card details, secured PIN numbers and/or passwords to get your tax refund. However, the income tax refund claim is not real – it is a Phishing attempt of hackers and cyber criminals. First, they steal your vital personal and bank information and get away with your money.

These fraudulent Emails and SMS messages in the name of Income Tax Refund have been around since many years. India’s Income Tax Department published some samples of such Phishing emails. Income Tax Department clearly mentioned they do not request detailed personal, bank account or card information through e-mail. So, what to do when you receive such emails or SMS messages?

  • Do not reply to the messages.
  • Do not open any accompanying attachments as they may contain malicious code to infect your computer.
  • Avoid clicking the links in the message and do not enter your confidential information in case you ended up on phishing websites. Always check landing URL and make sure you are on the official website.

The best way to know your tax refund status is to log-in to income tax e-filing website directly and check it from there. Note, not just income tax refund, such Phishing scams appear in other names like ‘Redeeming Reward Points’ of your Bank card. On Twitter Hyderabad City Police alerted about the Cyber Fraud.

In case you receive such fraudulent, phishing emails or website URLs, you can report to Income Tax Department by forwarding them to webmanager@incometax.gov.in and incident@cert-in.org.in

Hoax or Fact:

Hoax and Scam.


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