Here are some common signs of a scam.
|What scammers may do||Our approach|
|The scammer may be threatening. They may say you will be arrested immediately if you do not respond.||We would not use intimidating language or threaten you with sudden arrest.|
|The scammer may pressure you to make a decision quickly.||We would not pressure you to act immediately, without warning.|
|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.||
We will only ask for payment using our official methods.
Ways of paying
|The scammer might ask for passwords to your online accounts.||We will never ask for your password.|
Email and text scams
We do not put refund amounts, or links to myIR in our emails or texts.
Scam emails may have links or come from email addresses that are wrong, but look almost right. For example ird.co.nz, ird.qovt.nz or ird.gov.nz. Our correct address is ird.govt.nz
To check a link, use your mouse to hover over it. The address will appear in a box or at the bottom of your screen. Make sure the link is correct before you click on it.
If you get a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from Inland Revenue, ask for their name and number. You can then contact us on one of the numbers listed on our website, to confirm the call you received was genuine.
Social media scams
Our only official social media accounts are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We also have a YouTube channel.
Scammers may use fake versions of a social media account to try and contact you. They may pretend to be Inland Revenue staff. To check that a social media account is official:
- Look at the number of followers. Fake social media accounts often show only a few followers. Our official Facebook account has over 79,000 followers, LinkedIn over 42,000 followers and Twitter more than 5,000 followers.
- Check the activity on the accounts. For example the number of posts or tweets made and how often they are made.
- See when the account was created. Our Facebook account was created in 2013 and Twitter in 2011.
We will never ask for personal or financial information through social media posts. We do not use any type of direct messaging.
What we will not say
Scam emails, texts or social media posts are often badly worded with a lot of spelling mistakes. We try to use language that is as clear as possible. We do not use terms like:
- dear citizen
- fiscal activity
- excess payment
- our department or Department of Taxes
- NZ Govt Tax Refund
- IRD Customer Portal or IRD Revenue portal.
Stolen IRD number
Although uncommon, fraudsters 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
To improve our services, we sometimes invite customers to take part in research. We may offer a gift card in return for participating. This invitation may be by email. A genuine customer research email from us will not have any of the signs of a scam described on this page.