The tax authorities have issued a warning over a scam text, which is doing the rounds, that falsely informs recipients they are due a tax refund and links them to a fraudulent website to give their credit card details.
The text tells people to click on a link to request a refund and then to input their details.
The website link, needless to say, is a fraudulent site and those who enter their details are at risk of having their bank information stolen.
In response to the scam, the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP) has issued a reminder that it will "never ask for bank details, personal information, supplier or customer identification data, information on invoices or references of financial contacts.”
Website can steal bank details
Scammers are thought to be using the current economic difficulties to prey on vulnerable victims, who may see any kind of tax refund as a welcome windfall.
As those eligible to receive a refund (or pay more tax) do have to give their bank details on the official tax site, some may believe the text is legitimate – and, at a glance, the website it links to appears authentic.
However, ‘https://impot-gov.info’ is a fake site, with eagle eyed receivers of the text noticing the misspelling of ‘.gov’ (which for official French websites is always ‘.gouv’).
Anyone entering information on it is at risk of having their card used by fraudsters, or alternatively, falling prey to a recent two-pronged scams, where people who have previously scammed card details from individuals then pose as workers from their bank to gain even deeper access to their account.
Tax authorities never ask for bank details via text
The DGFiP has urged taxpayers to remember that it never asks for any details via text, phone, or email.
It has also asked those who have been contacted by scammers to report the scam to the service.
“Attempts to scam taxpayers have been on the increase in recent years,” it said in a text message sent to taxpayers this spring.
“If you have any doubts, don't hesitate to contact the tax authorities to check the authenticity of the message you have received. You can do this via your secure messaging system in your personal area on impots.gouv.fr, by telephone, or by visiting your local tax office.”