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Beware of tax refund scams

We are in the period of possible refunds linked to tax returns. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this to try and deceive you.

The e-mail informs you that you have received a document concerning your tax refund. You are encouraged to click on a link to view the document. Do not do so!

STOP. It's a trap. We'll tell you why.

1. Contributions and tax returns are the responsibility of the FPS Finance. The Flemish Region will therefore never send you an e-mail on this subject. Nor will any other regional institution.

2. The issuer's e-mail address is not a FPS Finance or MINFIN address. It is clearly not an official address, although it is disguised under the name eGov.

3. You can control where the link takes you WITHOUT clicking on it. Simply move your mouse over the "button". On a smartphone or tablet, simply hold your finger down on the link to see where it leads. Don't click and forward the message to suspicious@safeonweb.be.

4. The tone of the email should also catch your attention. They call you "dear relation". The FPS Finance will never use this kind of name.

5. Another very important point: you will never receive an e-mail of this type directly in your mailbox but via your e-Box if you have activated it. Otherwise, public services always communicate by post.

In short, always be vigilant. Avoid clicking on the first link you receive without asking yourself the right questions, and above all don't act in a hurry or panic. Take the time to check the information.

What can I do?
  • Do not click on a link in a suspicious message, do not open attachments and do not download applications if you are asked to do so.
  • You can forward fraudulent e-mails to suspicious@safeonweb.be.
  • You can also send suspicious text messages. All you have to do is take a screenshot and send it to suspicious@safeonweb.be. The content of your report will then be processed automatically.
Did you click on a suspect link?
  • If you have clicked, leave the fields blank and cancel any interaction.
  • NEVER give out personal codes.
  • If you have provided a password that you use elsewhere, change it immediately.
Have you been swindled?
  • If you lose money or become the victim of extortion, we advise you to report it to the police. You can report it to the local police where you live. 
  • Contact your bank and/or Card Stop on 078 170 170 if you have passed on banking information, if money is disappearing from your bank account or if you have transferred money to a fraudster. This way, any fraudulent transactions can be blocked.
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