RSM New Zealand

Phishing scam alert : IRD warning

Police have urged the public to be vigilant after recent reports revealed that callers pretending to be from government departments, predominantly the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had demanded money in the form of vouchers. 

Over the past two weeks Inland Revenue have recieved reports of a telephone phishing scam from several hundreds of customers around New Zealand

Scammers claiming to be from Inland Revenue are cold calling people to say they are being investigated for tax fraud. The scammer requests personal information including the person's IRD number, before threatening them with legal action. In some cases people are told they must pay a debt urgently or face jail.  Some customers have reported the callers becoming angry and agressive when challenged. 

Some people have also reported scammers leaving voicemails stating the recipient is subject to criminal action for tax fraud, leaving a phone number for the person to return the call.

Inland Revenue has issued a reminder to its customers that it's staff would not leave messages like this for its customers. 

If you do recieve a suspicious email, SMS or fradulent call, please email phishing@ird.govt.nz and include:

  • the email received, or
  • the number that the text message or phone number (CallerID) originated from
  • any names and call-back numbers given by the text sender or phone caller
  • details about the scam including: the amount of tax refund quoted, the reference number, the information requested, and any other relevant information.

For more information on IRD scams, please refer to their website by clicking here


When receiving any call demanding money, NZ Police advise:

  • Seek validation of who the caller is by asking for a full name and the company or agency details.
  • Validate the phone number of the caller and ask that they call you from a landline if they are using a mobile phone.
  • Ignore calls from unknown mobile numbers.
  • Don't share your personal details until you are convinced the caller is legitimate.
  • If you are threatened, simply hang up.
  • Don't trust anyone who calls you and asks for your financial related information such as your account details and password and hang up if asked, call the company on their published contact 0800 number or arrange a meeting at the relevant agency branch.

 

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Authors

Colin Wilson
Partner - Auckland