Watch out for the fake HMRC coronavirus scam that is targeting taxpayers Mar 19, 2020Views: 82
Humans - we can always be trusted to band together in a crisis. The community spirit comes out, the altruism exudes and everyone looks out for each other. Even if the government doesn’t seem to give a toss, at least we, you, us, the people have got each others’ backs as best we can.
But where there is light there must be shadow and in every crisis, you will, unfortunately, find those barnacles on the bottom of the ship of humanity that seek to capitalize on people’s fear and panic. This time is no different, as last week, Action Fraud reported that they had received 21 reports of coronavirus related fraud with total losses amounting to over £800,000!
Yes, hundreds of people have now received fake emails from these despicable reprobates who have adapted the already circulating fake HMRC phishing emails to reflect the current emergency. As you can see above, they claim that the government has established a new tax refund system as a precautionary measure to help alleviate those who may be financially affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The link in the email then takes you to a surprisingly legitimate-looking site that asks you to enter everything about yourself, apart from your star sign and shoe size. They want your name, address, telephone number, bank details and even your mother’s maiden name; essentially, enough information to either access your bank account or to purchase a financial item in their name on your credit.
With the current surge in people set to be working from home in the coming weeks, and with those who are already doing so, the risk of cyber-attacks and direct fraudulent targeting naturally heightens and all employees should be practicing best cybersecurity practices. A legitimate source will never ask you for your personal details over the phone or by email so do not give out any discernible information no matter how convincing it may seem.
HMRC has said that people should under no circumstances give out their personal information to a suspicious source or even one that has simply arrived unexpectedly. This includes replying to text messages, downloading attachments or clicking on links. If you have received anything like this then the advice remains the same - you can forward emails to here.
In a somewhat haunting parallel, it is again the elderly who are the most vulnerable to such attacks so make sure you spread the word and let people know to be vigilant as unfortunately, with the panic around coronavirus increasing, these attempts will likely increase with it.
Written by Aoibheann Byrne | BrightPay Payroll SoftwareRick Phillips likes this.
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