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Thread: SARS VAT scam

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    SARS VAT scam

    I got a phone call this afternoon from Mike claiming to be from SARS. Apparently a VAT refund was due and they needed my banking details to pay it back.

    "Hmmm," I wondered, "they certainly seemed to know where to take the money from last time I submitted VAT, how strange that they seem to have misplaced it."

    After reading here about all the scams going on, I'm prudent not to pass out to much information about me or my business. Being the prudent (and informed) business owner I suggested to Mike that maybe there was some problem, seen as SARS has been happily taking my money for a while now. I suggested that he send me the information about the refund so I could have a look at that. I kindly gave him my fax number.

    After concluding my call with Mike, I decided to call my friendly SARS office (national line 0860 12 12 18) to enquire about this supposed VAT refund.

    LO AND BEHOLD! You would not believe it! They had my banking details on file, and had no record of anyone contacting me. "Hmmm, prudence is paying I thought to myself," while the friendly SARS lady congratulated me for not giving out my banking details to these fraudsters.

    One sad part to my tale: I called SARS fraud hotline (0860 00 28 70), but unfortunately without any payments having occurred they cannot investigate the matter.

    Tax payer beware! (what's the latin for that?)

    Quick moral of the story: NEVER, EVER give out your bank details to strangers, and call SARS (or whoever) on the contact number given on their website.
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 01-Nov-07 at 08:35 AM.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I wonder what the next stage of the scam would have been? Getting your bank details only gets you so far as long as you don't give away PINs and the like.

    Perhaps the bad deposit/refund scam?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. #3
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Perhaps the bad deposit/refund scam?
    Sorry! I forgot to comment on that.

    Yes, that is what I expect from what SARS said. Basically pay a "VAT refund" into my account, whoops, it was a mistake, please pay it back immediately. Then "refund" is a fraudulent cheque, etc., and oh bugger, I just gave my money to some stranger.

    The SARS fraud hotline lady told me that they could only investigate if money had actually been paid, which I can understand - they need some paper trail to follow.
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 10-Sep-07 at 07:56 PM. Reason: I can't believe I wrote check, instead of cheque!!
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Not interested until you've been defrauded, and not able to do anything after.

    I wonder why these fraudsters are not being stopped?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  5. #5
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Anyone know who can be contacted about this? What would be best, give them your bank details, and then contact SAPS/SARS to setup a trap? To go through this whole process is a lot of energy directed away from your business though.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I've been down that route. SAPS was not interested. Commercial branch was not interested.

    The party most interested was my bank. One interesting feature of our "incident" was that the "stolen" cheque used for the bad deposit only bounced once it was clear that the game was well and truly up - about 9 days later. I suspect that warranted an internal enquiry, but I never got any feedback as to how that turned out. Can't blame the bank for that.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Bronze Member Sieg's Avatar
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    SARS impersonation scam

    I also had one of those calls. Went something like this: "Hello Sir, this is Joe Bloggs from SARS. I need to speak to you about your VAT refund and . . " I interrupt him with "Vat refund? That's great. Terrific. Lekker, I like getting money. Tell you what, have the cash ready for me at your local SARS office where I usually pay and I'll pick it up at 11 tomorrow? OK?" I put the phone down before he could reply. Had no more calls from this turkey after that one.


    Sieg

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Tax payer beware! (what's the latin for that?)
    This is the closest I think..........
    Potes currere sed te occulere non potes - You can run, but you can't hide

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marq View Post
    Potes currere sed te occulere non potes - You can run, but you can't hide
    I love that
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  10. #10
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    More reporting on the same VAT scam on Ideate, and an article from Fin24 in 2006.
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