Tax refund scams doing the rounds

IMAGE: Namibia Fact Check

All sorts of phishing scams are making it into Namibian online spaces these days

A particular phishing scam that has been brought to Namibia Fact Check‘s attention is one that a reader received via email on 27 August 2023 and that claims to indicate that the receiver is eligible for a tax refund.

Some of these schemes are so far-fetched that it’s hard to believe anyone falls for them.

For instance, the particular tax refund phishing scam sent to Namibia Fact Check invites the receiver to apply for a tax refund to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and not the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA). How and why a random Namibian would qualify for a tax refund from the IRS just seems bizarre, and yet these scams continue to circulate.

These email scams usually circulate during summertime in the US , when US taxpayers can claim tax refunds.

As usual with phishing scams, the following are visible:

  • Poor grammar and spelling in the text;
  • Email is received from an unofficial email account;
  • The receiver is requested to click a link to submit information;
  • There’s the mimicking of an official, government entity, etc.;
  • There’s a sense of urgency conveyed to respond in order to qualify for a promised benefit, in this case a tax refund.

Phishing scams are about getting people to give up personal or financial information, so Namibians are cautioned to not respond to these sorts of emails and to rather block the sender and delete the email.

These sorts of scams take many guises and forms and people should be alert to them.