'Tax rebate' email latest phishing scam

Fraudsters are targeting taxpayers in a sophisticated online scam promising rebates of £209.40.

Victims are being sent the hoax email ‘tax refund request submited’ (sic) purporting to be from HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs).

The unsolicited document has numerous spelling mistakes including ‘submited’ in the subject box and ‘successfull’ in the reply address.

It also bears the HMRC’s trademark green colours, logo and is almost an exact replica of its official website — www.hmrc.gov.uk

HMRC yesterday warned companies, businessmen and taxpayers to be diligent after labelling the financial scam as a ‘sophisticated attempt at internet fraud’.

In a statement HMRC said: “The e-mail is a sophisticated attempt at internet fraud and it is very important that anyone receiving it does not reply or provide any personal details whatsoever.

“We have an address on our website to which such attempted frauds should be reported.”

HMRC stated it has notified the police and web browsers and is also working with the authorities to track down the fraudsters in an effort to bring them before the courts.

“We are liaising closely with those agencies working to close down and prosecute those behind these scams. If you are in any doubt about a communication claiming to be from HMRC please contact us,” the statement added.

The phishing email states: “After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 209.40 GBP. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it. A |refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.To access the form for your tax refund, please click here. Regards, HM Revenue & Customs.”

When victims click the link they are prompted to provide personal details including their email, full name and date of birth.

Once these are submitted it then states that the refund due is £209.40 and asks for further information including address and card details. HMRC said there have been a number of scams that claim to originate from HMRC and that they were not unique to HMRC.

This article originally appeared in the Belfast Telegraph