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An interesting new scam (for German speaking folks)… June 8, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.

Seeing as I haven’t had to file a German tax return since 2001 I was unlikely to fall for this one. However, some of you who pay taxes to the German tax authorities may fall for this, so I feel I should write about it. This is most definitely a scam. The IRS and the German Bundeszentralamt für Steuern do not contact tax payers by e-mail – especially if you have never given them your e-mail address…

Sent from: Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (buro@bzst.com)

Datum 07 Juni 2012
Unsere Referenz B/23260/12
Ihr Zeichen 09C/412/12


Sehr geehrte Steuerzahler,

Nach den letzten Berechnungen des jährlichen steuerlichen Ihre Tätigkeit haben wir festgestellt, dass Sie Anspruch auf eine Steuererstattung von 233,14 EUR erhalten sollen.

Um Ihre Rücksendung erhalten, füllen Sie bitte das Steuerformular im Anhang zu dieser E-Mail und ermöglichen es uns 3-5 Werktage, um es zu verarbeiten.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Bundeszentralamt für Steuern



1. Sarai - June 11, 2012

Thanks, have shared this information! I am coming to study in Germany from next year, but I might have to do it via a Fachhochschule so that I can keep doing translation work – I won’t be able to stick to that 180 half days a year restriction!

2. Claudia - June 11, 2012

Thanks for the warning – but this is definitely a scam or worse (nigeria connection or something in that direction) because the German is no German at all – obviously translated by a machine on the internet. This is a laugh – nobody should fall for this, they kick themselves off themselves.

Jill (@bonnjill) - June 11, 2012

You’d be surprised how many people fall for this kind of thing. I read somewhere that American lost $50 million dollars to scammers last year, which tells me there are a lot of people who don’t have common sense or critical thinking skills – or are looking to make a fast buck.

3. Sevda Ros - June 11, 2012

Thank you. I live in Bulgaria and I pay taxes in my country, but I work with many german corporations. Today I received the same letter with an attachment, but I didn’t open it.

4. haagjesweb - June 11, 2012

I received a similar mail from ‘the British tax office’ the other day. I did spend a few months in Britain 25 years ago, but I never paid taxes there, so I didn’t fall for it. The mail looked very convincing, though…

5. Anna Mansfield - June 18, 2012

We live in California and Arizona, USA. We often e-mail and SKYPE with relatives in germany. That is how they discovered our e-mail address.

6. Hannah - July 3, 2012

for german speaking folk it’s actually quite easy to identify as a scam as even the Bundesrechenzentrum would never use such atrocious grammar or so many wrong words in the context.

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