Warning about Fraud Attempts: Alleged Payment Request from Tax Office via SMS

On June 11, 2024, the police in Hagen issued a warning about recent fraud attempts in the area. Scammers have been sending fake SMS messages, pretending to be from the tax office, in an effort to convince victims to transfer a certain amount of money. The messages contained a link and a request for payment of an outstanding amount to avoid additional costs.

The Hagen police and the tax office advise the public to be cautious of such fraudulent attempts, which can come through various communication channels such as email, SMS, and phone calls. Important reminders include the fact that the tax authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia never send payment requests via SMS. Any amounts due are always communicated in writing, such as through a tax assessment notice. Additionally, reminders are always sent in writing as well.

There have been cases where the fraudulent text messages included a foreign IBAN as the destination account. Furthermore, the messages gave the impression that the outstanding amount could be paid through a website. False threats of visits from bailiffs in case of non-payment have also been circulating.

Tips and guidelines for dealing with such fraud attempts include ignoring and deleting the SMS, not following any instructions in the message, not clicking on any links, not providing personal information or bank details, not calling any provided phone numbers, using spam filters on smartphones, not responding to fraudulent SMS, keeping devices updated with antivirus protection, considering removing personal information from public directories, and reporting any fraud to the police if you become a victim.

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Original content from: Polizei Hagen, transmitted by news aktuell