Got an income tax refund email from IRB? Don’t respond, it’s fake

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It’s tax-filing season, and if you’ve filed your taxes, great. Some of you may qualify for income tax refunds. Here’s something important you need to know. Some of you may have received emails from the Inland Revenue Board (IRB). Important note: they’re not really from IRB.

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Have you heard of the term ‘phishing’? In short, phishing is a form of cybercrime where cybercriminals craft a seemingly legitimate-looking email(s) and sometimes social media message to trick you into providing confidential or personal data.

This could be an email purportedly from your bank to request for your banking details. Or an online service requesting you for your username and password. Your data can be used for fraud, and for other cyber criminal activities.

According to latest data, 13% of annual cybercrime cost globally for companies is through phishing and social engineering.

Last year in the US, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reported a 400% increase in scams during tax-filing season.

Similarly, in Malaysia, there have been emails circulating claiming to be from the IRB, bearing the address [email protected]. The email requires taxpayers to fill out their details as part of the procedure to qualify for income tax refunds.

It also required taxpayers to input their banking info and attached fake bank websites based on taxpayers’ respective bank.

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The IRB has officially stated that income tax refunds are only processed based on taxpayers’ information stores in the IRB database.

The board said it has received more than half a dozen calls from taxpayers enquiring about the authenticity of the emails.

If you’ve received such an email, you’re advised not to respond to it. If you’ve any questions regarding your income tax filing, please submit your enquiry via the official feedback form or call 1-800-88-5436.

Source: Inland Revenue Board vs NST

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