Alert issued against fake messages on I-T refunds

NEW DELHI: The nation's premier cyber security company - CERT-In - has cautioned in opposition to a malicious 'SMShing' fraud the place pretend messages are being sent to other folks within the name of the Income Tax (I-T) department announcing their refunds had been authorized, with an aim to scouse borrow the recipient's necessary private main points and put them at the darkish internet "for sale".

The caution, that also acts as an advisory, comes at a time when the tax returns filing season is on and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has sometime back extended the deadline to do until August 31.

Recently, some other folks wrote on social media platforms that they'd received such messages.

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the national nodal company for responding to laptop security incidents, mentioned once a person clicks at the SMShing (made from SMS and phishing) link, he/she runs the risk of both his/her private main points being "put up for sale on the dark web" (clandestine internet), and even their I-T department data "altered" by means of misusing their e-filing credentials.

The advisory describes as to how such pretend SMSes may well be identified.

"There have been increased reports of incidents related to fake SMS purportedly from Income Tax Department as the filing of I-T returns nears. This SMShing campaign uses popular URL (universal resource locator) shortening services such as,, and among others," it mentioned.

It then is going on to explain the modus operandi of such assault.

"The message within the SMS tells the recipient that their income tax refund for a certain amount has been authorized and will probably be credited in a while in his bank account. This is followed by means of an flawed bank account quantity. Message reads to the recipient to make sure the given bank account quantity and if discovered fallacious, then seek advice from the shortened link given within the message to replace his bank file.

"The link is leading to phishing web-pages. Since the bank account quantity within the SMS is fallacious, a variety of recipients are enticed to click at the website online link. Clicking at the link within the SMS, opens a website online which is lookalike to the Income Tax Department e-filing website online," it mentioned.

The recipient, the advisory mentioned, is requested to enter their bank main points to complete their income tax refund application after which enter their login ID and password at the next phishing web-page.

"Thereafter, the details entered by means of the sufferer SMS recipient are harvested as delicate information by means of the cyber criminals operating this campaign for a later use in identity-thefts or for placing up on the market at the darkish internet or for even altering the consumer's main points within the Income Tax Department's data," it mentioned.

A senior tax department reputable instructed that the department is acutely aware of these malicious SMS-based and online assaults on private taxpayers and others and they are in contact with the CERT-In authorities and feature additionally issued public advisories in this context.

The advisory has additionally mentioned some do's and dont's.

It says, "Do not reply to the suspicious SMS and emails and such social engineering tactics can be identified as these SMS and emails have mistakes grammatical or spelling mistakes; although the SMS or emails came from somebody you recognize, be wary about opening the attachment or click on links as some malicious emails may be spoofing the sender.

"Also, do not click on any links and in case if the hyperlink has been clicked then do not enter confidential information like bank account, credit card details among others; use anti-virus software and a firewall for the mobile device and for every other device used for accessing emails and keep them updated for protection against inadvertently accepting any unwanted files that gets downloaded in the SMShing, phishing links," it mentioned.
Alert issued against fake messages on I-T refunds Alert issued against fake messages on I-T refunds Reviewed by kailash soni on August 08, 2018 Rating: 5
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