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Scam alert

A scam is any email, link within an email, phone call or text that asks you to disclose any of your personal or banking information.

Scammers aim to trick you into paying them money or giving them your personal information. They send out fraudulent emails to thousands of customers every day, usually promising things such as tax refunds.

Spotting scams

Here are some of the tell-tale signs that an email or a phone call may be a scam. It may:

  • be badly worded or formatted
  • have typos or spaces in words
  • have a faked "from email address". Check that it ends in "ird.govt.nz"
  • have a faked "IRD website address". Check that the URL ends in "ird.govt.nz"

Some of the phrases or terms scammers are using but we do not use are:

Dear citizen Department of Taxes
Please pay within x days otherwise you will receive a fine NZ Govt Tax Refund
Fiscal activity IRD Customer Portal
NZD (after the dollar figure) IRD Revenue portal
Excess payment This the Police, you owe money to Inland Revenue
Our department If you do not pay, you will be arrested
Links to the Post Office website  

Contacting you for research

Important

As a way to improve our services, from time to time we will invite customers to take part in research. This may be by email. A genuine customer research email from us will not contain any of the tell-tale signs mentioned above.

Confirm or report a scam

If you receive a suspicious email

Do not reply to the email or click on any links in the email as they may go to a false webpage.

We need the email header details to be able to act on it or even confirm that indeed it is a phishing email. If you have received a suspicious email please follow the below steps:

  • Create a new email.
  • Insert the suspicious email as an attachment (either drag and drop, or attach item in Outlook)
  • Send the new email to us at phishing@ird.govt.nz

Alternatively, you can print the email and send it to:
IT Security Team
Inland Revenue
PO Box 2198
Wellington 6140

If you receive a suspicious phone call or text

Scammers may ask you to contact them on a fake Inland Revenue number instead of calling you directly. If you receive an text scam message or a fraudulent call please email us at phishing@ird.govt.nz and include:

  • 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.

Identity theft

Identity theft is using someone's private information to pretend to be that person and gain access to resources or benefits. The most common methods that fraudsters use to collect this information are email and phone scams.

By learning how scams work and how to protect your personal information, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.

If you have fallen for a scam, given away personal information or suspect your identity has been stolen, please see our Victim support page.

You can find out about other methods used to steal personal information on the:

Latest scams

Find out about the latest scams.

3 April 2019: Check it out - My business is here scam

Another tax return scam. Pointers indicating this is a scam:

  • From a strange non-IR address
  • No personalised greeting
  • Strangely worded
  • Specific dollar amount of refund
  • The link points to non-Inland Revenue address

Email

my-business-is-here-scam-example

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Fake forms

We have had several different phishing emails reported to us recently. Most contain links in them that take you to fake forms that are trying to make you believe they belong to IRD.  One spam email is asking for you to reply to it with personal and credit card details.

These emails are sent from a variety of addresses.  If you have clicked on the form and submitted any personal or credit card data please contact your bank immediately. We also recommend you contact IDcare at www.idcare.org or phone 0800 201 415.

We are actively investigating these phishing emails.

 Previous scams

Find out about some previous scams.

Previous scams

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9 May 2018: Money owing to Inland Revenue phone scam

There have been numerous calls today to both us and the Police reporting a phone scam.

The automated message is in a New Zealand accent and asks the caller for their name and IRD number. It states: “This is the Police, you owe money to Inland Revenue. If you do not pay you will be arrested. Please call 04 889 0505.” This is not the New Zealand Police.

Anyone who believes they are a victim of any crime, in person or online, should report the matter to their local Police.