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E-mail Scam Purports To Be From Revenue Commissioners

A fresh phishing campaign is currently targeting consumers in Ireland as its e-mails pose as messages sent from the Revenue Commissioners stating that the recipient is entitled to a tax re-imbursement.

Explain security experts that phishing involves the practice of collecting personal information towards committing identity theft through fake e-mails that seem to be missives sent from legitimate companies.

Reportedly, in the current phishing scam, fraudulent e-mails arrived during the end weeks of July 2009, with the messages directing recipients to provide details of their credit cards so that the tax refund due to them could be processed.

They also present a web-link pointing to a form for making the claim that asks for the user's financial and personal details like bank account number into which the alleged compensation would be deposited. Furthermore, the scam e-mails also display a believable copy of the Revenue Commissioners' official logo.

Said a spokesman representing the Revenue, the current phishing e-mail was the latest version of certain fraudulent e-mail that they had come across earlier in 2009 but that the e-mails notably hadn't been from the Revenue Commissioners.

However, the Revenue has issued an alert on its official website describing how the new phishing scam works along with guidelines for taxpayers towards tackling it.

The spokesman further stated that the Revenue Commissioners does not ever send e-mails requesting citizens to supply their private details over e-mail; therefore if anyone received such a message then he must instantly send it to webmaster@revenue.ie.

In any case, the Revenue so far found no clue of any taxpayer being ensnared with the scam e-mail, the spokesman said.

In the meantime, security researchers stated that the phishing campaigns were getting more and more sophisticated, with a number of scammers attacking official e-mails that are usually regarded as more formal in comparison to web-based e-mails.

Also with an increasing number of people opting for online banking, the Irish Payment Service Organization computes that the aggregate number of phishing assaults whereby fake e-mails are sent for the purpose of tricking users into divulging personal credit card or bank details rose 150% during 2008.

Related article: E-Crime Reporting Format To Be Launched in July

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