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RCMP Warns Netizens of Tax Refund E-mail Scam

In a warning issued by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), netizens have been asked to be wary in the wake of various reports received about a latest e-mail scam.

According to RCMP, the e-mail appears to be a money saving offer at first sight - probably a refund purporting to be coming from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The most striking thing is that scammers have timed this scam well to coincide with the preparation of federal/provincial tax return and the income tax packages of 2009.

The e-mail falsely suggests recipients that they are eligible for a tax refund. It specifies the amount of refund and requests for some important information for processing the refund. The personal information asked includes social insurance number, credit card number, full name, date of birth and amount of tax return.

The recipient is requested to forward the requisite information either by responding to the fake e-mail or by visiting a fraudulent CRA website via the link provided in the e-mail.

Such scams are referred to as "phishing scams" as scammer here asks for personal/financial details of the user, explained security experts. In majority of cases, the request has a sense of urgency and the recipient is asked to provide the necessary details in order to receive the refund.

It is to be noted that CRA does not ask people for such information through unsolicited e-mails. The general public is at high risk as scammers can furtively steal legitimate refund amount of the victim or exploit his personal details for some other criminal purposes, revealed security experts.

Moreover, Staff Sgt. Williamson (Canada) has informed people that it is nothing like agencies suddenly contact them and suggest that they may be eligible for some money, reported theguardian.ce.pa on February 18, 2010. He has, thus, advised users to delete such an e-mail.

Ultimately, it is the users who can evade falling victim of such scams by embracing some simple but crucial security habits. First and the most important key to prevent these assaults is the vigilance and awareness. Secondly, people should think before clicking any link. Lastly, updated Internet security software should be installed to block unsolicited e-mails.

Related article: RCMP Alert Public against PayPal Scam

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