Iras warns of tax reimbursement phishing scam website

The fake website at iras.gov-sg.web.do uses the Iras logo and claims to be a "tax reimbursement form". ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) on Monday (Jan 24) warned of a scam involving a fake website that invites users to submit personal data to get a tax reimbursement.

The fake website at iras.gov-sg.web.do uses the Iras logo and claims to be a "tax reimbursement form".

It offers a tax refund of about $1,000 and asks for a user's full name, e-mail address and credit or debit card details.

The real Iras website can be found at iras.gov.sg.

"Please do not respond, provide any personal details, make any payment or follow any instructions provided," Iras said. It urged those who had previously done so to lodge a police report.

Iras added that any genuine corporate income tax and goods and services tax (GST) refunds will be credited directly to the user's bank account.

For property tax and personal income tax refunds, Iras will either credit the refund directly to the user's bank account, through telegraphic transfer or send cheques if they do not pay taxes via the electronic direct debit system Giro.

"If Iras requires information from you, Iras will not disclose nor solicit your personal details or any confidential information via e-mail or unsecured web links," said the authority.

"Iras officers will direct you to use the relevant forms secured by Singpass login or sign-up links located on the Iras website to furnish your personal details and bank account information, if required."

The warning comes as the tax filing period approaches. Jan 31 is the deadline for declaring donations, filing GST returns and paying property tax bills.

Scams in general, including those targeting taxpayers, have also been on the rise in recent weeks.

Last Friday, Iras warned of a scam e-mail purportedly sent by Iras and signed by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mr Ng Wai Choong, where recipients are told to buy an "approval pass" to receive funds from billionaire Bill Gates.

OCBC Bank said last Wednesday that it will make goodwill payouts to all customers affected by a recent spate of SMS phishing scams. Nearly 470 customers lost at least $8.5 million in total to such scams last month.

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