47% Surge in Fake HMRC Rebate Emails
Accountancyage.com reported on 10th February, 2014 quoting a warning by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) which is official tax collection agency of UK as "taxpayers should be wary of fake emails offering tax rebates as there is 47% surge in such phishing scams."
Tax returns to the tune of 10 Million were filed by 31st January, 2014 deadline with around 8.5 Million filed online which has broken all record.
Customers reported 23,247 phishing emails to HMRC three months before the deadline - which is 47% more than the figure of the same time-period whereas customers reported more than 91,000 phishing e-mails to HMRC during 2013.
The con artists behind the phishing emails try to deceive victims in disclosing their details of bank account, credit or debit card, name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number, passwords and mother's maiden name. The phishing emails lead users to a phishing website or phishing webpage that demands all the above mentioned details.
HMRC closed 178 websites in January 2014 on receipt of complaints of such phishing emails from customers which is 65 more than January 2013.
In 2013, HMRC shutdown 1,476 websites around the world including US and Russia which sent scam emails of these kinds.
Tamworthherald.co.uk published a statement on 13th February, 2014 quoting Gareth Lloyd, Head of Digital Security of HMRC, as saying that HMRC never sends email to customers to notify for refund of tax and always sends letter through post. However, if you get an email asserting to be as of HMRC offering a tax refund, kindly send the email to email@example.com and then permanently delete it. We ensure online safety to customers with the help of law enforcement bureaus around the globe by closing down these websites and targeting the cybercriminals masterminding these scams.
HMRC warns that bogus HMRC emails with a ZIP file attachment or hyperlinks have been circulated among employers which should not be opened because of a virus. Rather, if you have replied to one of such emails then you must forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org as advised by HMRC official.
» SPAMfighter News - 19-02-2014