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Beware tax return scams defrauding South Africans, here is what you should do if you fall victim.

SARS

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has warning the public about tax scams. The syndicate witnessed fraudulent occurrences or unauthorised changes to tax practitioners' and/or taxpayers' electronic filing profiles with the express purpose of defrauding SARS and affected taxpayers.

SARS stated in a statement that the fraudulent operations were carried out by persons who gained access to eFiling accounts via phishing or other criminal scams in order to change the bank details of a legal taxpayer in order to reroute refunds.

According to the revenue collector, the individuals also filed fake tax forms in order to obtain refunds. "SARS takes all necessary precautions to prevent security breaches of our information systems, and there is no indication of SARS systems being hacked; rather, they remain secure," it stated.

"All eFiling user access within practices or businesses should be evaluated on a regular basis, and if necessary, employee access should be removed, particularly when an employee leaves the practice or business." The public is reminded to remain vigilant for phishing scams that request sensitive identity and banking information," SARS stated.

Report incidents of fraudulent or unauthorized modifications to eFiling profiles to SARS's Anti-Corruption and Fraud Hotline at 0800 00 2870. Taxpayers and tax practitioners are warned not to report such instances or expose sensitive information on social media sites such as Facebook.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter has issued a clear warning to swindlers. "Let me be clear: SARS has the potential and capability to strike a huge blow to individuals hell-bent on carrying out these illicit operations.

SARS stated that it would collaborate with other law enforcement authorities to track down and apprehend these crooks. "Be advised, this is not a frivolous threat," the Commissioner stated.

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SARS South African Revenue Service South Africans

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