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HMRC Cautions Tax Paying Citizens About Phishing E-mails

UK's official tax-collecting body HMRC has issued an alert that there's a hike in phishing e-mails dispatched that relate to different tax themes ever-since January 31, 2011 has been scheduled as the last date by when citizens can claim self-evaluated tax refunds. Silicon.com reported this on February 4, 2011.

State reports that the phishing messages tell recipients that they're eligible for a tax reimbursement and that for making the claim they require surrendering their banking and credit card particulars on an Internet site whose link is embedded on the e-mails.

But, the website is a duplicate of the original HMRC site, which users are prompted for logging into so they can be actually tricked into giving away personal banking credentials that eventually scammers seize to abuse later. Thus, for any user who gets convinced with the phishing strategy there are chances that he'll have his bank balance stolen as also his private details handed over to other criminals over auction, warns HMRC.

Meanwhile, Director of Customer Contact Chris Hopson at HMRC stated that according to HMRC's policy, the only way HMRC would contact consumers regarding a tax reimbursement was through a letter sent via post. Therefore, anybody getting an e-mail that claimed as a message from HMRC and promised a tax refund is recommended that he should forward the message to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk after which he must erase it permanently, Hopson indicated. Computerworlduk.com published this on February 5, 2011.

Hopson further stated that in case anybody felt that a phishing scam had victimized him then he should notify his credit card company or bank immediately. Moneyhighstreet.com reported this on February 4, 2011.

The tax-collecting body also cautioned end-users to avoid going to dubious websites, and opening attachments or clicking web-links within doubtful e-mails.

Moreover, according to reports, 99 websites were recently deactivated that found mention inside certain bogus e-mails related to tax refunds, at the initiation of HMRC. Also, a few network of scammers too met the same fate in Mexico, USA, UK, Austria, South Korea, Japan and Thailand. Still the scams are here to stay at least in the near future, HMRC notes.

Related article: HMRC - Fake Refund E-mails Tricking Tax Payers

» SPAMfighter News - 2/12/2011

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