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Phishing attempt: “SARS eFiling Letter notification”

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

An email with the subject “SARS eFiling Letter Notification” was sent from a staff email to staff and students on campus. The email asks you to click on a link to download your SARS documents (See example below)

This is not a legitimate SARS email, but a phishing attempt from a compromised sun email account.

SARS will never ask you to provide any personal information by means of email. By clicking on links and providing your information, you give criminals access to your personal information and your accounts.

If you clicked on the link in this phishing email, immediately change your password on For enquiries contact the IT Service Desk by logging a request or calling 808 4367. More information on phishing is available on our blog and Twitter.

Click for a larger version.

SARS phishing e-mail

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Take note that a phishing e-mail promising a SARS payback is circulating on campus. Below is an example of the e-mail sent from a legitimate looking e-mail address with a web page attached which the receiver should click on and complete. 

Please do not click on the html file or enter any personal information. SARS would contact you via SMS if (in the unlikely event) they want to pay you money.  

Also look out for the telltale signs of a phishing e-mail below:

  1. Addressed to a generic name – “Dear Taxpayer”. SARS would at least include your full name and tax reference number.
  2. Grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. 
  3. SARS won’t ask you to complete any forms. They already have your information.

Dear Taxpayer,


After calculations of last year annual fiscal activities,we realised that you are eligible to receive a Tax refund of R9,250.75. please download the attached Tax refund form REFUNDSARS.html and complete the process of your Tax refund. Note:the refund will take 48hours to reflect in your account.


Thank you,


South Africa Revenue Services (SARS)

Tom Moyane Commissioner

Tax season = cyber scams

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Only people with an unusual desire for pain and discomfort look forward to a trip to the dentist. The same goes for tax.

Criminals know this and prey on our vulnerability. Every year at this time, e-mails like the one below end up in SU staff inboxes. It informs you that the taxman owes you money and all you have to do to receive it, is to click on a link.

This is a scam, and you should never respond or go to the site or open up the attached file, as this could compromise your banking security.

  1. SARS has your banking details on record and keeps it in secure and encrypted form. They do not need you to confirm or enter your banking details.
  2. SARS will always either SMS or send you a registered letter in the post to inform you of tax returns. They will never contact you by unsecured e-mail.
  3. They also have enough data to address the mail to you PERSONALLY and not via some vague “Dear Taxpayer” or “Good Day” salutation.
  4. There is no address.
  5. The attached file is usually a html (webpage) file and will connect you to a server controlled by the criminals. This server downloads a Trojan virus to your computer that will install software, malware and do all sorts of nasty things to your computer and data. Another tactic is to present you with a “login page” where you enter your banking account details, your PIN code etc.
  6. Unless you have added your university e-mail address as the primary contact address on the SARS system, you should never receive mail on your university account.

This phishing scam will allow the criminals to log into and take control of your bank account via the internet.

They can create themselves as beneficiaries, transfer your money to their account, and then delete the evidence pointing to their account.

These scam e-mails will never stop. It is always difficult to block them too because scammers change their addresses, details and methods on a daily basis. So it is always best to dump these mails in the junk mail folder, blacklist the sending domain and delete the mail immediately.

Why do these criminals continue to send their mail? Because they catch people regularly. In 2012 R14+ million was stolen from South Africans alone using phishing tactics such as this one.

Also read more on this on the mybroadband website.


From: SARS eFiling []
Sent: Saturday, 27 June 2015 10:14
Subject: Your account has been credited with R3,167.14

Your account has been credited with R3,167.14

Please click below to accept and verify payment.

Accept Payment

During this process, there will be verifications. If you don’t receive codes on time, come back to finish verification when received

SARS eFiling


SARS wants to give you money?

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

 It’s that time of the year when our mailboxes are infiltrated by messages from SARS and we start making sums and filling out forms. Unfortunately elusive cyber criminals also know that this is the perfect time to prey on our gullibility.

So it’s most likely that you will be receiving (if you haven’t already) a so-called e-mail from SARS asking you either to verify your information or to let you know that a much-welcomed amount has been paid into your account. (see example below) Don’t get excited – it’s not really SARS.

Clicking on the hyperlink in the email takes you to a fake “e-filing” site that has hyperlinks for the four big South African banks and instructions to log on to your Internet banking site for “confirmation of your details”.  When you follow the Nedbank link (as an example), you are taken to a copy of the Nedbank internet banking site that asks for profile, pin and password.  Supplying these takes you to a second page that asks you for your mobile number.  Submitting information on this page takes you to a page that requests the reference number sent to your cellphone.

Do not authorise any cellphone message that comes through if you end up in the above situation.  Furthermore, do not click on any hyperlinks in emails or divulge your account or mobile number details to anyone over the phone or via email.  Banks will never ask you to access internet banking through a link in an email, neither will banks ever ask for your mobile number when you access internet banking.

Look out for the following tell-tale signs:

–  when you move with your pc’s mouse over the link, it won’t be the official, correct web address
–  the e-mail isn’t addressed to you personally – your name isn’t mentioned anywhere
–  the address it was sent from is a generic one that doesn’t exist
–  there is no reference or account number
–  no contact person is mentioned

If you’re unsure, rather go directly to the SARS e-filing web site (type in and see if there were any payments made to your account.


From: Sars Efiling <>
Date: 30 July 2013 19:37:38 EDT
To: <>
Subject: You have a new transaction message

We have filed your return and made a deposit of R3,650.80 into your account.

Confirm your filing

This is an automated email, replies sent to this address will not be received.

Sars eFiling



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