The income tax department has alerted tax-payers against sharing financial information like PAN card number and credit cards details through Ior telephone saying that it can be misused by fraudsters.
The I-T department in its internal inquiry earlier had found that user IDs and passwords of certain officers had been fraudulently used to generate refunds in some cases.
"The passwords to official e-mail identities of department officers have been misused resulting in siphoning off the money. At times, the passwords were known even to the staff which will now be restricted to the concerned officer," The Economic Times quoted an income tax official as saying.
The CBI in Mumbai had recently arrested five persons, including three I-T officials and a television artiste, for allegedly duping the department of Rs3 crore by filing fake I-T returns.
''Information has been received from several quarters that people are receiving electronic mails informing them of their income tax refunds and seeking their credit card details. It is clarified that the department does not send e-mails regarding refunds and does not seek any information regarding credit cards of taxpayers,'' an official said.
The CBI while investigating the case in Mumbai last month had found that a chartered accountant has collected PAN card numbers from 23 persons and bank account details and blank post-dated cheques signed by them.
''Income Tax department does not send e-mails regarding refunds and does not seek any taxpayer information like user name, password, details of ATM, bank accounts, credit cards, etc. Taxpayers are advised not to part with such information on the basis of e-mails,'' the department clarified.