After alerting taxpayers about fraudulent emails promising fake refunds and other services, the Income Tax department has now alerted people against fake mobile applications that compromise confidential financial information.
The department has warned taxpayers that illegal ‘mobile applications’ circulating in the webworld for smartphones, especially Android and BlackBerry phones, ‘may not be according to the department's data structure’ and parameters.
"Filers (people who file tax returns) using them are doing this at their own risk," the department said in its recent advisory issued to taxpayers.
The fake mobile applications, according to sources, use the name and purpose of I-T returns to conceal their fraud identity and promise the gullible taxpayer in sharing his or her personal details as done under the legal I-T filings system.
The I-T department, over the last few years, has constantly alerted taxpayers that the department never asks for detailed personal information of any person through e-mails or any other mode of communication on the Internet.
"The Income Tax department does not request detailed personal information through e-mail. The I-T department does not send e-mail requesting your PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts," the department had earlier issued the disclaimer.
"It is important to inform and alert taxpayers in this age of Internet-based communications.
“With a spurt been seen in possession of smartphones, such fake applications and solicitations should be guarded against by taxpayers," a senior I-T department official said.
The department's technology engineers are also in coordination with the national agency of computer and cyber security sleuths and anti-hacking agencies to weed out these issues, they said.