New phishing emails scam
HMRC has warned of a recent phishing email scam. The fraudulent and sophisticated email was sent to a number of agents. The fraud sought to extract the secure login details of taxpayers to allow fraudsters to submit bogus VAT repayment claims.
HMRC is also reminding agents of the importanceto carry out full computer scans to make sure their computers are clear of viruses and to ensure that their anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software is fully up to date. Agents should also ensure that confidential data such as credentials and passwords are secure and that passwords are changed at least every three months. In this case, HMRC was able to thwart this attack and have introduced additional security measures to guard against a similar repeat attack.
As with other fraudulent emails, these are not genuine HMRC messages and should be disregarded. This is a phishing scam that uses bogus e-mails and websites to trick taxpayers.
Phishing emails are being sent from all around the world. HMRC has helped close down illegal sites in countries including the United States of America, Russia and Japan, as well as central and eastern Europe. However, the proliferation of these types of emails continues.
Any of our readers who are unsure as to the authenticity of any email purporting to be from HMRC should avoid clicking on any links until satisfied that the email is legitimate.