Now that the income tax filing season is over, taxpayers are due to receive their tax refunds for the financial year 2018-19. Taking advantage of the opportunity, fraudsters are sending phishing SMSes with links posing as the Income Tax department.
One of the taxpayers recently contacted the IT department over twitter to ask if an SMS he received was authentic.
“@IncomeTaxIndia Important Alert! Dear xxxxxxxx , the lncometax_Department requires you to click the link below to submit a formal request for the payment of your unclaimed and overdue tax-refund of xx,xxx INR. http://18.104.22.168/ITRefund
Is it authentic?”
The Twitter user said that he had received the message from a sender called “BZ-ITDEPL.”
The IT department confirmed that the SMS was fake and replied with its guidelines on reporting and identifying phishing emails and fake income tax websites.
How to identify a phishing SMS/ Email?
- Income Tax Department will not ask for a PIN, OTP, password or any information that could provide access to credit/debit cards or your bank account.
- Fake emails usually come from domains with misspelt or incorrect sounding variants of the Income Tax department websites.
- Do not open any link or attachments that may be in the SMS or email.
- If you receive an e-mail or find a website you think is pretending to be of the Income Tax Department, forward the e-mail or website URL to firstname.lastname@example.org. A copy may also be forwarded to email@example.com.
- Visit www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/report-phishing.aspx for more instructions of identification and reporting of phishing messages.
How to check your income tax refund status?
- Go to the income tax e-filing website.
- Login with your User ID, password, date of birth and captcha.
- Go to “My Account” and click on “Refund/Demand Status”.