It appears that quite a number of Malaysians have been receiving emails that claim to provide a sum of tax refund lately
There have been a number of cases recently where people have been receiving emails claiming to be from banks including Bank Negara Malaysia, CIMB, Maybank and others that request taxpayers to submit their tax refund request.
These emails require taxpayers to fill out their details as part of the procedure to qualify for income tax refunds.
It is believed that the emails are circulating on the Internet at the moment, and are said to be part of an ongoing online scam.
But these days, these fraudulent e-mails don't just claim to be from banks, but from the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN) itself
One Ashley Greig-Momin shared on Facebook about how she received an email that claimed to be from the "Inland Revenue Board Of Malaysia" for the first time. She had previously received numerous questionable emails that were allegedly from various banks.
Feeling suspicious, she took the initiative to get in touch the Inland Revenue Board Of Malaysia (LHDN) to get clarification on the matter. Ashley called the customer service line and explained the matter to the operator.
"She checked and apparently my ledger was clear and that there was no refund or anything of that sort, and told me that it was a spam mail, just like I had suspected," added Ashley, commending LHDN for their excellent customer service.
It is noted that there was a surge in the number of people who received from emails "LHDN" a few months ago, though there were slight variations in the copy.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has cautioned the public on bogus emails purportedly from the central bank yesterday, 18 October
In a statement yesterday, BNM warned against opening any email that claims to be from the bank and that the recipient is eligible for a tax refund. It said that these emails are being sent by scammers who are out to prey on the public and cheat their hard-earned money.
"We would like to inform that tax is not under Bank Negara Malaysia's purview."
"Members of the public are reminded to ignore such emails and not to click or download the attachment. The link in these emails may contain malware," it said.
The ongoing email fraud scheme appears to be rather rampant recently as the statement from BNM came one week after they reminded the public to beware of phishing scams
Last Monday, 10 October, BNM have issued a statement to remind the public to refrain from opening any email purportedly bearing the name of the bank.
BNM explained the fraudsters' modus operandi is to send to intended victims email entitled "security verification", purportedly from BNM, informing them that there is an incoming payment.
The victims are required to complete security verification by downloading the attachment provided. Once the person clicks on/downloads the link provided in the attachment, they will be directed to a fake website requesting personal financial information such as credit or debit card details including card verification value (CVV) or other personal identification numbers (PIN).
BNM reiterated that they, or any financial institution, credit card issuer or banking institution, will never request for personal banking information via email, telephone calls, or SMS.
BNM has recommended the following preventive measures against these fraudulent schemes:
1. Use web browsers that are up-to-date with built-in phishing filters.
2. DO NOT trust emails, calls or SMS claiming cash wins, incoming fund transfers/payments or refunds and requests for personal banking information.
3. Contact your respective banks or contact the Associations of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) toll-free service called ABMConnect at 1-300-88-9980 when in doubt of the email, SMS or calls.