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Filing income tax returns not exempt from fraud, avoid unknown sources asking your banking details

Delhi Police has warned that cyber criminals are now targeting people filing income tax returns online by sending malicious bulk emails to trick them to provide their net banking credentials. These kind of e-mails are camouflaged in a manner that one feels that it has come from an authentic e-mail id.

Mail Today Bureau        Last Updated: August 3, 2017  | 09:16 IST
Filing income tax returns not exempt from fraud, avoid unknown sources asking your banking details

If you are a tax payer who has received an e-mail from the income tax department informing about an error in calculating tax and a refund has to be issued, be careful as it may be a phishing e-mail which would re-direct you to another website seeking your financial details such as bank account number and other related details.

Delhi Police has warned that cyber criminals are now targeting people filing income tax returns online by sending malicious bulk emails to trick them to provide their net banking credentials. These kind of e-mails are camouflaged in a manner that one feels that it has come from an authentic e-mail id.

The e-mail id would resemble the ids used by income tax department. The cyber crime cell of Delhi Police has alerted citizens of fake emails from the income tax department. This comes after the deadline for filing Income Tax Returns was extended to August 5.

DCP cyber crime through its official Twitter handle has explained that emails on ITRs from donotreply@incometaxfilling. gov.in can spread malware and even trick users into providing their net-banking credentials.

"If you check the sender's address, it may appear as donotreply@incometaxfilling. gov.in and not donotreply@incometaxfiling. gov.in. Note the 'e' is missing from 'efiling' and 'filing' is spelt as 'filling'," it said.

After the July 31 deadline, the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) announced an extension after some taxpayers had complained that they were unable to log on to income tax e-filing website.

According to cyber experts, scamsters are circulating malicious mail cashing on public curiosity to file their income tax return as most of the taxpayers await communication from the income tax department. A wrong step could lead to compromising one's personal details and the person eventually becomes a victim of online fraud.

One could apply some basic checks before responding to such e-mails: Impromptu response should be avoided for electronic notices.

"People filing income tax returns may receive emails stating that there has been an error in calculating their tax and a refund has to be issued. Please be cautious in responding to such mails. These mails are routinely circulated by hackers to trick people," said a senior police official.

In some mails, users might be redirected to fake net banking login page in an attempt to steal passwords.

"Once you login into it, your bank account may get hacked," the officer said. Recently, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has advised all its broadband users to change their default password of the modems as some of its modems were affected by a malware attack earlier this week. The malware attack has impacted around 2,000 broadband modems and it has affected those who have not changed the default password "admin".

The malware is basically changing the passwords of the modems and users were unable to login.

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