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Formby Residents Warned of Tax Refund Phishing E-mails

Residents of Formby (UK) are being asked to maintain vigilance against a new malicious e-mail campaign that talks about a so-called tax refund. At Sefton, officers of Trading Standards have issued a warning of a phishing e-mail asking to send personal information to HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs).

The e-mails, purporting to be messages sent by HMRC, inform recipients (Formby residents) that a supposed tax reimbursement is waiting for them and they could obtain it by dispatching their personal details that would be used to credit their amount.

However, careful examinations suggest that the e-mails are not from HMRC. Actually, they are tactics to con the recipients so that they would fill in a given form to make their claims with different pieces of private details like credit card or bank account numbers.

Andrew Naisbitt, Manager of Sefton Council Trading Standards, said that the practice of phishing was a popular way of scamming people. Therefore, recipients of such e-mails should remain vigilant, as reported by Formby Times on September 2, 2009.

In the meantime, HMRC has stated that the new phishing e-mails are being distributed indiscriminately. HMRC security hasn't been breached and the body is coordinating with other agencies of law enforcement to shutdown the related websites and to probe people responsible for the scam.

HMRC further said that it neither issues tax rebate notifications via e-mail nor ask consumers to reveal their private details like usernames and passwords.

Thus, officials said that people shouldn't ever disclose any payment or personal information and in case anyone has already revealed one, he must inform his card-issuer about the incident at the earliest.

HMRC lately alerted taxpayers of a new surge of phishing messages that utilized persuasive yet phony government e-mail IDs.

Likewise, in early August 2009, HMRC cautioned taxpayers to maintain additional vigilance against phishing e-mails that presented tax reimbursements. At that time, HMRC had reported of receiving around 15,000 complaints about scam e-mails for August 2008-July 2009.

» SPAMfighter News - 9/19/2009

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