Tax refund via SMS?
Experts warn of nasty scams
Created: 12/20/2022, 1:35 p.m
By: Vivian Werg
The Federal Network Agency is currently warning of a new SMS scam.
Fraudsters lure their victims with an alleged tax refund.
What you should know.
Kassel – The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has become aware of complaints that consumers have received short messages from various mobile phone numbers about an alleged refund from the tax office.
The amount of the allegedly due "refund" was always several hundred euros.
The BNetzA then switched off numerous mobile phone numbers whose users had promised the recipients alleged tax refunds by sending short messages.
"We take action against fraudulent messages about tax refunds by consistently switching off the misused phone numbers," says Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency.
SMS fraud: The Federal Network Agency warns of alleged tax refunds (symbol image) © Jens Kalaene / dpa
Alleged tax refund: fake websites contained logos of well-known banks
In order to receive the "reimbursement", those affected should click on a link sent with them.
The links led to websites that were designed using the logos of well-known banks and credit institutions.
On these pages, the recipients of the messages should enter their bank access data in order to initiate the payment of the "refund".
In fact, there is no refund due.
There is a risk that the data spied out will be used for criminal purposes.
Alleged tax refund: what to do when you receive this text message
The BNetzA warns against opening links specified in such short messages or subsequently entering data.
Consumers who have already disclosed account details should urgently contact their bank holding the account and report it to the police.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Current information and measures are summarized on the website of the Federal Network Agency.
We have listed the most important ones below:
Increase in calls with undisplayed phone numbers: From December 2022, an increase in calls with suppressed or anonymized phone numbers is to be expected.
Continued abusive calls on behalf of police authorities, for example "Interpol" or "Europol".
Warning of text messages with a link to malware:
The Federal Network Agency is currently receiving increasing numbers of complaints from consumers who report that they have received a text message with the brief message that there is “1 new voicemail” and an Internet link.
Conventional cell phone numbers are transmitted as sender identifiers.
Fraud attempts via telephone, Whatsapp or e-mail are currently increasing.
Anyone who has become the victim of unauthorized advertising calls can also report them to the BNetzA.
If, on the other hand, you have become the victim of a con artist who wanted to get sensitive data such as passwords or bank details with the call, you can contact the law enforcement authorities, according to BNetzA.