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Taxation
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 12:40
Fraud frenzy

With tax filing season upon us, the annual tax-related cyber fraud feeding frenzy has begun, warns Fortinet.

“The Receiver of Revenue, financial institutions and security firms have been issuing the same warnings every tax season for years. Amazingly, nothing has changed and people are still being defrauded during tax filing season,” says Jonas Thulin, Security Consultant at Fortinet.
“It’s the same story every year – with tax season come fraud and phishing scams. The problem is not going away. On the contrary, we see more and more of it taking place,” says Thulin.
In a section dedicated to fraud and cyber-crime, SARS warns of numerous phishing mails and attempts to defraud taxpayers. These range from emails falsely advising of a refund, to mails purporting to come from banks, asking recipients to confirm their bank details for tax purposes.
“Because so many more people are online now, and accessing the internet from a range of unsecured mobile devices, the attack surface is much larger than it was a few years ago,” he notes. “SARS and South African financial institutions have tightened their own security and all of them use strong authentication tools, yet every year we see many people caught by phishing scams.”
Thulin notes that the simplest scam requires people to click through to a link mailed to them, where they are asked to fill in their user names, passwords or other personal details. The losses suffered can be twofold: scammers could empty out their victims’ bank accounts in a once-off raid, or they could steal their identity and go on to take out loans and transact in the victim’s name, resulting in longer-term and bigger financial losses.
 

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:27.8 1st August, 2014
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