Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist

Beware of SARS payment emails

Consumers who receive strange emails from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) should be careful not to open attached documents and enter their personal details, as this is another scam to make you part with your personal and confidential details.

According to SARS members of the public are randomly emailed with false “spoofed” emails, made to look as if they were sent from SARS, but are in fact fraudulent emails aimed at getting unsuspecting taxpayers to part with personal information, such as bank account details.

In  the past scammers used emails with addresses such as or indicating that taxpayers are eligible to receive tax refunds. These emails then contain links to false forms and fake websites made to look like the “real thing” to fool people into entering personal information which the criminals then extract and use fraudulently.

SARS says tax payers should:

  • Beware of emails requesting personal, tax, banking and eFiling details, such as login credentials, passwords, pins and credit or debit card information. SARS will never request your banking details in any communication that you receive via post, email, or SMS. However, for the purpose of telephonic engagement and authentication purposes, SARS will verify your personal details. SARS will not send you any hyperlinks to other websites, even those of banks.
  • Beware of false text messages (SMSs). SARS does not send *.htm or *.html attachments.
  • SARS will never ask for your credit card details.

Report or get more information on phishing, by sending an email to or call the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 00 2870.

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