Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
New Delhi, 5th February, 2016
Sub:– Steps taken by Income Tax Department for safeguarding taxpayers from Phishing email – regarding
The Income Tax Department has been at the forefront of using technology in implementing its – e-Governance initiatives. Most of its routine communication to taxpayers is through email and SMS. Therefore, the Department is very sensitive and alert to attempts made by fraudsters to spoof the Department’s identity to send phishing emails. To ensure that taxpayers are aware that the Department does not seek any confidential or financial information of the taxpayer over email, the below mentioned advisory has been prominently displayed on the national website:
“The Income Tax Department NEVER asks for your PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts through e-mail.
The Income Tax Department appeals to taxpayers NOT to respond to such e-mails and NOT to share information relating to their credit card, bank and other financial accounts.”
The Do’s and Don’t’s to ensure that the gullible taxpayers do not inadvertently play into the hands of fraudsters are clearly mentioned on the website: http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/report-phishing.aspx. All taxpayer reports of phishing emails are forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org which is a Government of India agency mandated to fight against such threats.
Further, the Department has implemented best practices such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework), D KIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) and D MARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) for its email domains. Use of these protocols enables the e-mail receiver domains such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc to determine whether or not a received e-mail is actually from the defined sender such as the Department and block phishing emails from reaching the taxpayer.
Income Tax Department is committed to encouraging taxpayers to engage with it electronically by following safe and best practices.
Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax (OSD)
Official Spokesperson, CBDT