Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is wishing to warn tax payers ab0ut phishing emails which promise a tax refund. These emails are not originating from HMRC but rather fraudsters who are urging victims to reply before the 31st July 2014.
HMRC said that in May 2014 over 11,000 phishing emails were sent which is up 131% on the same time last year. During the tax renewal period in 2013, HMRC received reports of around 25,000 spam emails between April and July.
The tax authority closed down 1,740 illegal sites that mostly originating from the likes of Bulgaria, Turkey and Spain during 2013. However, emails themselves also came from the UK and USA. If the recipient clicks on a link within the email, they are taken to a fake HMRC website and asked to provide bank details alongside other information like passwords. Personal details can then be sold onto criminals who may commit identity theft as well as stealing money from bank accounts.
HMRC is asking those who receive this type of email not to click on any links or attachments and should forward them on to email@example.com and then delete them.
One scam email was sent from ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ informing them of a tax refund report of 2013. The email appeared to be sent from Tax Office Preston and contained an attachment which was a virus.