Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) warned members of the public on scams and fraudulent activities using IRAS’ name.
There have been reported cases of individuals receiving emails, letters, Short Message Services (SMS), or phone calls purportedly from IRAS, requesting people to do one or more of the following:
- Open an email link or file attachment to review their income or tax statement;
- Transfer a sum of money, supposedly for tax purposes, to accounts belonging to named individuals (usually an overseas account); and/or
- Pay sums of money to named individuals (usually a party not residing in Singapore) before an inheritance/estate of a deceased party is released.
- Provide their bank account numbers to claim tax refunds, enjoy cash rewards, or pay outstanding tax bills; and/or
- Provide confidential personal information such as personal particulars, personal identification numbers, passwords and bank account numbers, either by completing a form on a website or to someone who impersonates as IRAS staff.
IRAS urged members of the public to be extra careful when receiving unsolicited emails, letters, SMSes, phone calls, online chats, or all other forms of communication asking to provide confidential or personal information.
“Under no circumstances should you give personal information including credit card or banking details to third parties via email, letter, SMS or phone,” IRAS warned in the advisory.
Important note from IRAS
Lately, scam emails that mimick IRAS’ email address ending with “@iras.gov.sg” have been sent to some members of the public. Certain parts of the email details have been changed by the scammers to make them appear as if the email was sent by IRAS. Such scam emails usually carry a file attachment requesting the recipients to open it.
IRAS advised not to click on any link or open any attachment in the email as it may contain computer virus.
IRAS does not send out official emails from personal email accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail, or other unfamiliar email domains.
IRAS’ email replies are usually signed off with an officer’s name, designation and contact information.
IRAS also does not send out confidential documents such as tax return forms, notices of assessment, refund letters or other tax statements through unsecured emails. Confidential documents are deposited in the secured tax portal at mytax.iras.gov.sg.
Taxpayers may log in to the portal using their SingPass to retrieve their tax statements or e-File their tax returns via mytax.iras.gov.sg.
IRAS will not ask to provide confidential personal details through emails. IRAS encourage taxpayers to use myTax Mail to correspond with IRAS. If the enquiry contains confidential information, IRAS will respond via myTax Mail.
To make a cheque payment for tax, it must only be made payable to one of the relevant payees, as given below :
- Comptroller of Income Tax
- Comptroller of Goods & Services Tax
- Comptroller of Property Tax
- Commissioner of Stamp Duties
Other examples of scams
How to recognise scams
IRAS give some tips to recognise a scam:
- Promises of money for little or no effort
- Deals that sound too good to be true
- Peculiar email addresses and website URLs
How to report a scam
Anyone who has received a suspicious email, letter, SMS or phone call purportedly from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) should immediately contact IRAS at [email protected] or on 1800 356 8225 to verify the authenticity of such request.
Do not respond to them or click on any hyperlink in the email. In the case of suspicious phone calls, the receivers should request for the caller’s full name, telephone number and department and validate this through our QSM helpline at 1800 356 8225.
IRAS also advice if members of the public suspect that they have responded to a phishing scam with personal or financial information, they are advised to:
- Lodge a police report;
- Change the passwords or PINs on all their online accounts; and
- Contact banks to stop any transactions.