Beware of scammers posing as Iras officers, asking you to pay outstanding taxes

Iras has stressed that it does not make telephone calls asking taxpayers to transfer money to bank accounts.
Iras has stressed that it does not make telephone calls asking taxpayers to transfer money to bank accounts.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) has put up an advisory warning the public about scam callers who pose as Iras officers.

These scammers tell the victims that they must pay their outstanding taxes immediately via an ATM bank transfer.

Several people have made reports saying that they received such suspicious calls from the number "6688867".

Iras added in a media advisory on Wednesday that victims have reported that they received suspicious calls from people claiming to be Iras officers.

The telephone number displayed on the caller IDs in those cases include the number for Iras' Individual Income Tax helpline, which is 6356-8300.

Iras in its advisory stressed that it does not make telephone calls asking taxpayers to transfer money to bank accounts.

"Members of the public who receive such calls are advised to ignore the instructions given by the caller and are encouraged to lodge police reports," said Iras.

It advised those who receive suspicious phone calls to request for the caller's full name, telephone number and department, and validate this through Iras' QSM helpline on 1800-356-8225.

In its advisory, Iras also warned the public about other types of scams, including those carried out over e-mail, WhatsApp and SMSes.

Some scam e-mails mimick Iras' e-mail address, with "@iras.gov.sg" in their names.


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM IRAS WEBSITE

"Certain parts of the e-mail details have been changed by the scammers to make them appear as if the e-mail was sent by Iras," said Iras.

"Such scam e-mails usually carry a file attachment requesting the recipients to open it. You are advised not to click on any link or open any attachment in the e-mail as it may contain computer virus."

The authority stressed that it will not ask the public to provide confidential personal details through e-mail.

Iras officers will also not make phone calls to customers outside of its helpline operating hours, which are 8am to 5pm on weekdays.

Iras advised the public to take the following actions if they receive such scam calls:

  • Be vigilant. Iras will not ask you to make a payment to a third party’s bank account through a telephone call. Iras also does not offer payment options by “iTunes credits” or “Steam credits”.
  • Refrain from transferring any money to the caller, either via remittance agencies, banks or any other means.
  • Refrain from providing personal information such as name, identification number, passport number, bank account or credit card details to the caller.
  • Be aware of payment modes to Iras. These include Giro, Internet Banking Bill payment, DBS PayLah! Mobile App, Phone Banking, ATM, AXS Station, SAM Kiosk and Nets. For payments to IRAS made via Internet Banking, DBS Paylah!, ATM Bill Payment and AXS Mobile and Internet, taxpayers must select "Iras" from the list of payees.
  • Cheque payments must be made payable only to one of the following payees:
  • Comptroller of Income Tax
  • Comptroller of Goods & Services Tax
  • Comptroller of Property Tax
  • Commissioner of Stamp Duties
  • Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore