Be on your guard!

/ Business and Economy

Author: Henry Ejdelbaum

Tags: AIMS Accountants, hmrc, scam, tax refunds

The scammers and phishers have been busy lately – perhaps they have Christmas credit card bills to pay off, I doubt whether they bother about paying 31 January tax bills!

The latest new one we have seen is a superficially convincing email ostensibly from The Insolvency Service, headed “Company Investigations Inquiry” and containing the usual link to click on. The giveaway (apart from the slightly strange English) is the origination email address which does not look terribly official! Needless to say you should not click on the link.

The bulk of scam and phishing emails and texts purport to come from HMRC; some offer tax refunds, others ask you to review your VAT return and there are some which ask you to update information. They all invite you to click on a link, open an attachment, go to a website or download something. The objectives of the crooks include stealing your personal information, infecting your computer with ransom ware, adding your computer to a network of infected machines which are used to send out more scam emails and goodness knows what other horrors.

HMRC says it does not use text or emails to advise of tax refunds or penalties or to ask for personal or payment information.

It is not just government departments which are used as camouflage by the scammers, we have probably all had emails about our accounts at banks we have never done business with, but the best advice is never to click on a link, open an attachment or send information on the basis of an email which is not expected. As you know I have written about these sorts of scams before and this latest one just confirms to me that if sending out mass emails was not free it would, at the very least, be an additional hurdle for the fraudsters – what do you think?

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