The public has been urged to be wary of scammers claiming to represent the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

In a recent notice, the deparment revealed the five common tactics used by scammers to con the public. Here they are:

1) Tax evasion

Scammers will contact their victims via messages, phone calls, letters or emails, pretending to be LHDN or police officers, and claim that they have tax arrears. The victims will then be led to a fake Bank Negara Malaysia mobile app and told to divulge their personal banking details for "investigation" purposes.

2) Illegal activities

The scammers will contact their victims and allege the latter of being involved in illegal activities, such as crimes and money laundering. This would scare the victims, who would then be asked to transfer money to third party accounts, purportedly to prevent their bank accounts being frozen/blacklisted.

3) Tax investigation

Scammers visit victims while impersonating LHDN officers and tell the former that they have wrongly filed taxes, or made incorrect income tax declarations. The victims will then be asked to hand over certain documents and records, before being directed to make outstanding payments into a bank account, which, not surprisingly, is not owned by LHDN.

4) Share-trading profits

Scammers contact their victims via letter or emails, alleging them of being involved in share trading activities with an investment company. The victims are the directed to "settle" their tax arrears based on the instructions given by the scammers.

5) Tax refunds

Scammers send fake emails to their victims, claiming they have yet-to-be claimed tax refunds, after they will be instructed to click on a hoax link where they will be required to fill up their banking details to get refunded.

Meanwhile, LHDN spokesperson Ranjeet Kaur urged the public to beware of scams as the tax filing window approaches an end. The e-filing (filing your taxes online) window ends on 30th April (for the employed) and 30th June (for those doing business).

She said among the red flags include getting calls on weekends, public holidays, or after office hours.

"Never call back any unknown numbers. Call LHDN at 03-89111000 to verify the authenticity of any communication received," she was quoted telling news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

As for email, any official correspondence from the taxmen would only be sent from the official domain.

Ranjeet stressed that any tax arrear payments should only be made to LHDN, and never to any third party accounts.

Useful advice indeed. Never, ever trust any calls from "LHDN" officers if they come from an unknown mobile phone number.

The department only communicates with taxpayers via official channels, including email. Get a caller identification app on your phone so you will be alerted when a scam call comes in.

If in doubt, contact your nearest IRB office, whose numbers can easily be found online.

Source: FMT
Photo source: The Star