The Income Tax Department has issued a clarification, asserting that it does not send messages containing URLs to taxpayers. This announcement comes as a response to a surge in fraudulent messages circulating, aimed at deceiving taxpayers into providing sensitive information.
In one such message, recipients are informed about the processing of their income tax refund, urging them to click on a provided link to submit a return application. Another message claims that a tax refund has been approved and prompts the recipient to verify their bank account details by clicking on a link provided in the message.
The Income Tax Department has warned taxpayers against falling victim to such scams. These fraudulent messages are designed to extract personal and financial information, thereby putting recipients at risk of identity theft and financial loss. To thwart these attempts, the department has advised individuals to exercise caution and to critically assess the authenticity of any messages they receive.
The Income Tax Department tweeted, “Scammers are tricking tax payers into updating their bank account information through fraudulent links. Be cautious and verify the authenticity of messages”.
The IT Department also shared examples of fraudulent messages, which read, “Dear Income Tax Payer your income tax of refund 35,425 IN is processed and ready for disbursement. Kindly click http://188.8.131.52/ITR to submit a return application to enable us make your payment at the earliest.
Regards, Refunds Dept.”
Another message read” Dear Tax Payer, your income tax refund of Rs. 15,480 has been approved and your bank a/c will be credit shortly. Do kindly verify your a/c no 5XXXXX6755. If the same is incorrect, quickly follow the link
The cautionary advice underlines the significance of being vigilant and verifying the credibility of messages before taking any action. Taxpayers are advised to rely only on official channels and platforms for communication from the Income Tax Department. Any unsolicited messages containing URLs should be treated with skepticism and avoided.
In a digital age where cybercrimes are increasingly sophisticated, it is crucial for individuals to stay informed and adopt safe online practices. Verifying the legitimacy of messages, refraining from clicking on suspicious links, and never sharing personal or financial information through unsecured channels are essential steps in protecting oneself from potential scams.