Cybercriminals are finding new ways to trick internet users, which is one of the scariest downsides of being digitally connected. But being vigilant of suspicious activities online can save a great deal of unwanted trouble. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke, crybercrimes are on the rise. Now, a new trick used by fraudsters has come to light, wherein the tax payers of India are the victims.

For taxpayers, the months of March and April are highly crucial and busy. Filing taxes and returns can be demanding of time, but it is important to pay extra caution while filing for your income tax returns, the deadline for which was on March 31.

scam alert
Representational ImageAmal Rasheedali

Seeing how the fraudsters infiltrated the income tax return procedure, which is done through official government channels but there are other alternative means to do that, the Income Tax Department issued strict instructions on being vigilant. As it appears, a new scam related to fraudsters sharing illegitimate links to file income tax returns in on the rise. These links redirect to a webpage that looks identical to the income tax e-filing one, but it is actually a front for a malicious scam.

How to identify fake income tax e-filing website?

Income tax
Income taxFlickr

The IT department has shared some helpful tips on helping users identify fake income tax e-filing websites. Check them out below:

  1. Websites use "http" prefix instead of "https", which is a secure protocol.
  2. Users are redirected to download apps from a third party store or website, instead of the official Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  3. Upon clicking the "Proceed to verification steps", details such as name, PAN, Aadhaar, address, PIN, DOB, mobile number, email ID, account number and IFSC are displayed.
  4. Users are asked to share sensitive information such as card number, expiry, CVV and card PIN.
  5. Users might even be asked to share login details for bank's net banking.

If the website does any of the above, it is fake and user must retract immediately and shouldn't proceed.