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SARS ‘Confirm Epayment Notice’ Phishing Scam Email

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this “credit notice” email, which claims to be from South African tax agency SARS, you need to confirm your epayment  returns by opening an attached file

However, the email is not from SARS.  It is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.

If you click on the attachment, a fraudulent webpage will load in your browser. The page includes the SARS logo and other elements in an effort to make it appear legitimate.

Once on the fake page, you will be told that to receive your refund,  you must choose your financial institution from a list and provide your details. Clicking on the name of your financial institution takes you to another fraudulent website that asks you to login with your account username and password.

Once you have “logged in” on the bogus site,  you will be instructed to complete a tax refund claim form that asks for your credit card number, your name and contact details, and other identifying information.

At the end of the process, you may see a final message claiming that your refund will soon be deposited in your account.

But, now, criminals can use the information you provided to hijack your bank account, commit credit card fraud, and steal your identity.

Tax refund phishing scams continue to be very common. They target taxpayers in a number of countries. Be very cautious of any email or text message that claims that you are eligible for an unexpected refund and should open an attached file or follow a link to get the supposed refund.

Legitimate tax agencies will not send you unsolicited emails that make such requests.

SARS has information about identifying and reporting phishing scams on its website.

A screenshot of the scam email:

SARS Epayment Phishing Email


Transcript of the scam email:

Subject: Returns credit notice

Dear Taxpayer

Please confirm epayment returns made to you by SARS.
See attached reference to process epayment.


(HTML attachment)

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,