Phishing Scams and E-Filing | How to Recognise Scams and Protect Yourself

Date: 12 June 2023

Three things are guaranteed in life:

  • Death (unfortunately)
  • Taxes (unavoidably)
  • Scammers (unashamedly)

The South African Revenue Service begins tax season on 1 July and, as we hurtle towards that date in this winter of discontent, there will be many a scammer looking to capitalise on citizens’ desperate desire for good news – including, of course, assistance in making ends meet.

Enter the fake SARS communication scourge

Trying times are like rain in a desert to unscrupulous, unsavoury characters. They pop up everywhere, covering the landscape like pretty flowers containing deadly poison.

They are professional. They are convincing. They are plotting their next scheme. Guaranteed, everyone across every income bracket, will soon receive the following shady messages:

SMS messages with official-looking content from ‘SARS’.

Do NOT fall for it.

Do NOT take any action

SARS does NOT work like that and will never send any type of text message with a link that you need to click.

E-mails that ask for personal information.

This may include requests for debit/credit card details, bank details, logins of some kind or other personal information

Again, SARS will never ask for anything personal or account-related over an e-mail.

Should you receive any of the above communication, follow this three-step YiMA Response:

  1. Click NOTHING in that SMS or e-mail. Do not phone any number, do not do anything the communication asks you to do. Ignore it 100%.
  2. Take a screenshot of the SMS or email and report it to your YiMA scam-fighting team by visiting https://yima.org.za/reportscam. Also, remember to block the sender's number for your safety.
  3. Spread the word, tell the world. Brag about your good deed. Let’s name, shame and make it known that we are on a mission to find and prosecute these criminals, one at a time.

Why, what and who is YiMA?

YiMA is a product of the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service, a not-for-profit organization established 20 years ago by the banking and retail industry to safeguard the public against various types of fraud and scams.

In recent years, our increasingly mobile-centric world has undergone significant changes, providing a fertile environment for scam artists to target individuals from all walks of life.

To combat the escalating frequency and sophistication of scams, SAFPS created YiMA—a user-friendly platform empowering the public to fight back and proactively protect themselves against falling victim.

Our primary objective is to disrupt the criminal networks that threaten our livelihoods, and we encourage every South African to share their stories or concerns through the YiMA platform: https://yima.org.za/.

Empower yourself with prevention knowledge and know how.
Fight back against scams Today.

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