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The Little Black Book of Scams: Always check to make sure calls, texts or emails from the IRD are real. Tax scams are on the rise

The Little Black Book of Scams: Always check to make sure calls, texts or emails from the IRD are real. Tax scams are on the rise

This is the sixth chapter in the Little Black Book of Scams.

Got a call or email from Inland Revenue? Make sure it’s real.

You get a text message or an email from Inland Revenue (IRD) claiming you’re entitled to an extra refund and all you need to do is provide your banking details. Watch out – this wonderful-if-true situation is exactly what a tax scam looks like.

Another variation is that they call you to say that you owe IR money and that you need to pay right away, or else they will report you to the police.

In any case if you do receive a call, letter, email or text saying you owe money to IRD, contact IRD in the first instance.

Tips to protect yourself

Phone calls and emails from Inland Revenue will never:

✔ Call you using aggressive or threatening language

✔ Threaten you with arrest or to send the police to your home

✔ Ask for payments via prepaid credit cards or gift cards, such as iTunes, Steam, etc

✔ Ask you to provide your myIR login or password

✔ Ask you to enter personal information into a third party website

Inland Revenue suggests:

✔ Keep your personal details up to date:

✔ The best way to keep your personal details up to date – such as address, mobile number, bank account number, etc – is in your secure online myIR account.

If you receive a suspicious email

We need the email header details to be able to act on it or even confirm that indeed it is a phishing email. If you have received a suspicious email please follow the below steps:

  • Create a new email.
  • Insert the suspicious email as an attachment (either drag and drop, or attach item in Outlook)
  • Send the new email to us at

Alternatively, you can print the email and send it to:
IT Security Team
Inland Revenue
PO Box 2198
Wellington 6140

If you receive a suspicious phone call or text

Scammers may ask you to contact them on a fake Inland Revenue number instead of calling you directly. If you receive an text scam message or a fraudulent call please email us at and include:

  • the number that the text message or phone number (CallerID) originated from
  • any names and call-back numbers given by the text sender or phone caller
  • details about the scam including:
    • the amount of tax refund quoted
    • the reference number
    • the information requested, and
    • any other relevant information.

*The full booklet is here. This chapter is re-posted with permission. You can also watch a video interview with the Commission for Financial Capability's fraud education manager Bronwyn Groot here.

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