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Scammers target UK consumers with fake tax rebate emails

20 September 2010 - 14:41 by Simon Crisp

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Experts are warning people living in the UK, that they are vulnerable to a new spam and phishing site campaign that is attempting to steal private data and financial information under the guise of HM Revenue and Customs. This scam has been put together in the wake of the news that millions of people are owed a tax rebate, or need to rectify an underpayment, as a result of miscalculations made under the PAYE system.

HMRC will be getting in contact with those who are affected by post, but this has not stopped a sudden flurry of phoney sites and emails being created, to dupe unsuspecting individuals into giving away sensitive information to malicious third parties.

 Like all serious phishing campaigns, the websites created by the cybercriminals are convincing enough at first glance and recipients are urged to enter their details so that they can either repay their tax or receive a rebate. In reality neither of these things will happen, but the hapless victim will instead have gifted a distant criminal with their most personal financial information, which could lead to ID theft and much more.

HMRC has confirmed that it will not be emailing anyone in relation to a tax issue and you should await a postal message while immediately deleting any message that claims to be from official sources.

Phone scams linked to the HMRC tax errors are also doing the rounds, so make sure you don't get caught out when answering the phone or browsing through your inbox looking for the latest offers for safe shopping online from your trusted merchants.

Experts are urging consumers to remain vigilant and take care, in order to ensure that safe shopping online is easy to achieve rather than a rare luxury.