Here are a few telltale signs that an email, phone call or text may be a scam:
- The email, phone call or text may be threatening.
- The scammer might demand money. They might want to be paid in unusual ways such as gift cards (for example, iTunes cards), bitcoins or money transfer systems.
- The scammer may pressure you to make a decision or do something quickly.
- They might ask for passwords to your online accounts. Legitimate organisations will never ask for passwords.
- A scammer may ask for your bank account details. We'll never ask you to email or text us this information – we'll always ask you to supply this through myIR.
- Scammers often give website or email addresses that are wrong but look almost right. For example, they might send you to ird.co.nz, ird.qovt.nz or ird.gov.nz, instead of the correct ird.govt.nz
- The email or text might be badly worded or formatted.
If you get an email that you think might be a scam, use your mouse to hover over a link without clicking. This will let you see if the website address they are sending you to is accurate and relevant to the email you received.
What we will not say
We do not use terms like:
- dear citizen
- fiscal activity
- NZD (after the dollar figure)
- excess payment
- our department or Department of Taxes
- NZ Govt Tax Refund
- IRD Customer Portal or IRD Revenue portal.
If you get an email, phone call or text claiming that you will be fined or arrested if you do not respond, it is likely a scam.
If you get a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from Inland Revenue, ask for their name and number. Then call us on one of the numbers listed on our website, and confirm that the call you received was genuine before calling them back.
Stolen IRD number
Although uncommon, fraudsters also sometimes use another person's IRD number to claim tax refunds or tax credits. Some signs that someone else might be using your IRD number are:
- The bank account or address in myIR Secure Online Services is not yours.
- You have received a notice of assessment from us for a return you did not file.
- A return you have not filed is showing as filed.
If you have a tax agent and think any of these may have happened to you, check with them to make sure they have not made any changes to your details. If your tax agent has not made the changes, or you're still unsure, find out what to do if you've been scammed.
We may contact you for research
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 previously.