Hoax Tax Refund E-Mail Poses to be From HMRC

In a new phishing scam, consumers and small businesses are attacked by e-mails pretending to have come from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The message makes a request for the user's payment card details so that a certain "tax refund" could be facilitated.

The scam e-mail carries a link pointing to a fake HMRC Website where surfers are asked for their financial and other private information. It presents a legitimate-looking document seeking credit card or bank account details so that HMRC can deposit the money pertaining to an overpaid tax.

However, HMRC suggested that one should be alert whenever he/she is asked for his/her credit card information, meaning that such information should not be disclosed to anyone. The scam e-mails don't ask for such information directly but the fraudsters are getting cleverer so the excuse relating to a tax refund sounds convincing. However, the e-mail is a hoax and HMRC is urging users to be cautious while giving any confidential financial information, as reported by bytestart on July 3, 2008.

Meanwhile, MessageLabs said that the attack had nothing which indicate that the fraudsters were able to access the potential victims' personal data, as reported by Webuser on July 4, 2008.

Furthermore, HMRC recommended users that if they receive any suspicious e-mail purporting to have come from HMRC, they should avoid answering it as well as do not click any of the links given in the e-mail. Instead they should forward the message to HMRC.

Similarly, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has also shown concern that the current scam might trick users into answering despite the fact that most users are now able to recognize the e-mails coming from major organizations or banks.

Frank Haskew, Head the ICAEW Tax Faculty, said that as people are preparing for their vacation in the summer, many in a hurry to tick off the tasks from their to-do-list might get careless and overlook the details in the e-mail. This could result in exposing them to the fraudsters' tricks and turning themselves into victims, as reported by bytestart on July 3, 2008.

Related article: Hack.Huigezi Virus Attacks China PCs Rapidly

» SPAMfighter News - 22-07-2008

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