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Scammers Exploit Tax System Resulting in ID Theft

E-mail scam pretending to be from HM Revenue and Customs authorities is in circulation requesting recipients to provide their financial information in order to get a tax rebate. Many people have received these fraudulent e-mails informing that they are claimants of a tax refund. The amount the e-mail claims people owe varies but generally around 170 pounds. According to the e-mail's request, when the recipient fills in his/ her credit card particulars the fraudster uses them and swipes the victim's account.

In this way the request is liable for identity fraud that involves individuals supplying sensitive information such as bank account details. The scam appears to be well timed when it focused mainly on regions of Scotland and north of England. For, the day on January 31, 2007 was the scheduled deadline for people across the U.K. to submit their tax forms.

In one instance the hoax e-mail asked the recipient to note that on the basis of the previous annual assessment of the personal fiscal operations, the officials determined that the recipient was entitled to a tax refund of 170 pounds. The e-mail therefore asks the recipient to fill in the tax refund request and allow the officials 6-9 days of processing time. It goes on to say that the refund could be delayed for reasons such as submission of incorrect records or applying after the due date.

Confirming it to be a scam a spokeswoman for HM Revenue and Customs urged recipients not to respond to the e-mails. She assured that her office had notified the police about the abuse of their Web site. She also said such kinds of scams were not exclusive to HMRC and that they were alert and serious about the misuse of their name.

Chartered Accountant, Elaine Dyer said many of her clients received the hoax e-mail in question. She said the e-mail disguised to appear like a legitimate one from the Inland Revenue but actually attempted to extort private information resulting in a major identity fraud. She noted, IT experts in their profession apprehended many businesses might be likewise duped into supplying confidential information.

Related article: Scammer Sued for Coercing spyware Through Pop-up Assaults

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