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Fake E-mail Exploits HMRC Name to Steal Information

Internet scammers have designed fake e-mails to deceive taxpayers in Liverpool (UK) so that they reveal sensitive banking details.

A typical bogus e-mail, with subject - 'Dear Applicant, changes to the Refund Agreement' - has hit inboxes of people residing in Liverpool.

The fake e-mail tells the recipient that Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Refund Department have endowed them (Internet scammers) to inform him (e-mail recipient) about tax payment refund of around 281.87 GBP.

Moreover, the fake e-mail advises the recipient that he should respond quickly in order to receive the refund. Abbey National Plc, HSBC Bank Plc and Egg Bank Saving or Card Account are some of the banks that can complete the process of refund within 72 hrs after receiving the information, while other banks take around 4-5 working days to complete the process, said the bogus e-mail.

HMRC has warned people that they should be careful of such scams because they do not inform taxpayers about refund through e-mails and if someone were entitled to receive the refund, he would get a written letter.

Hence, HMRC has asked people to remain vigilant while reading or opening e-mails pretending to have come from legitimate organizations. Recipients should refrain from visiting web links embedded in e-mails and avoid disclosing their personal or payment information, rather send that e-mail to "phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk" and then delete it.

Some e-mail addresses included in the tax rebate scam have displayed the website of HMRC to make the proposal looks authentic.

In addition, HMRC states that unauthorized access to online information of people not only cause huge financial losses to them but also affect the relationship between client and agent. It also tries to prevent people from engaging in such activities by describing that these activities undermine taxpayers' confidence on HMRC ability to communicate with them through e-mail or doing online transactions.

In October 2009, a similar fake e-mail from an address "no-reply@hmrc.gov.uk," titled "Notice of Underreported Income" with fake HMRC website link titled 'Fraud Application" hit people inboxes and asked to download the file for review.

Related article: Fake Spam Mail Announces Australian PM’s Heart Attack

» SPAMfighter News - 21-12-2009

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