Over the past two weeks the IRD has received reports of a telephone phishing scam from several hundred customers around New Zealand.
The scam calls have been made to landlines and mobile phones, with messages being left on voicemail if the calls haven't been answered.
The callers state they are from the IRD and that the customer:
- is wanted for historic tax evasion or tax avoidance
- has a red flag on their file or
- is in debt.
They state that the customer or their lawyer must return the call as soon as possible to a Wellington phone number to arrange an immediate payment to avoid serious repercussions. Some have been told to make a a payment via Western Union within 30 minutes, or risk arrest.
The callers are very confident and convincing, they have also been reported as becoming angry and aggressive when challenged.
The IRD would not leave messages like these - if you receive one please let us know. Do not make any payments without talking to us.