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Inland Revenue has warned taxpayers to be wary of telephone callers who identify themselves as Inland Revenue Department employees and go on to ask for personal information.

This is a type of scam known as “phishing”.

Phishing is an attempt by people to trick others into giving out passwords, bank account numbers and other confidential and sensitive information.

They are becoming more common where people pretend to be calling from a business such as a bank, insurance or telephone company or from a government department.

The callers tend to be very confident and hope to catch people on the back foot so that it is easier to have them provide personal information.

Calling ostensibly from a government department often catches people out and they tend to be very cooperative.

More recently Inland Revenue has become aware of people identifying themselves as employees and advising taxpayers that they are entitled to a refund but they need to check details before releasing it.

It is important that you never give this sort of information out over the phone.

If you have an elderly relative you should talk to them about this type of activity as the elderly tend to be more trusting and therefore more open to these sorts of scams.

We suggest that if you do receive a call from someone identifying themselves as an employee of Inland Revenue and who go on to ask you to provide personal information, that you take their name and number and then contact us.

The information in this article is indicative of NZ tax rules and changes and not intended to be complete for all intents or purposes and does not constitute advice. It is recommended that you obtain professional advice, suited to your particular circumstances, from us before acting on anything you read.