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German Finance Ministry Issues Warning of Tax-Related Phishing E-Mails

In Germany, the Finance Ministry has issued an alert to people paying taxes for remaining vigilant about a new e-mail scam that's offering tax refunds. Theregister.co.uk reported this on May 10, 2011.

States the phishing e-mail to the recipient (taxpayer), he can get 378.25 euro in refund merely if he enters plentiful personal information into an attached HTML form. Subsequently, the e-mail utilizes pictures downloaded from the real Finance Ministry of Germany such that the scam may actually appear legitimate.

Nevertheless, the ministry in response enforced an approach that would effectively caution probable victims. Also, because the scammers replicated the HTML-code of the ministry's Internet site, the federal finance ministry responded quickly and put the tagged images in place of the original ones rather than post an alert onto the website.

Parsing the techniques of the Ministry, G-Data a security company said that they were a smart effort for disseminating real alert through a bogus form for data entry. Theregister.co.uk reported this.

But, the Ministry in Germany doesn't deal with tax refunds in the first place; it's the area tax offices' task. This along with the grammatical errors within the scam electronic mails possibly imply that there'll only be a small number of people within the area that'd fall for the trick. And those individuals, who do happen to read the e-mail and access the URL, could likely fall less victimized with the ruse because of the alterations in the images the Ministry made to its website.

However, to remain safe, G-Data suggested a few simple security measures. These are: if incoming e-mails appear extremely peculiar alternatively offer unbelievably true tax re-imbursements then they must be overlooked, erased, while their attachments not viewed at all.

Essentially, one mustn't ever reply to such scam e-mails. For, a reply would only hint that the e-mail id to which the scammers wrote is really active. Also, no bank data or other personal information should be revealed in response to such e-mails or similarly suspicious websites. Finally, an anti-spam filter within an all-inclusive security mechanism will safeguard the user's computer from any fraudulent e-mail of this kind.

Related article: Germany Restricts Anti-Hacking Legalization

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