The latest email based scam is in circulation whereby people are receiving an e-mail that claims to come from HM Revenue and Customs, which advises recipients they are due a tax refund. The mail directs users to a fake web site (hosted outside the UK) designed to have the same look and feel as the genuine HMRC site, using the same logos etc. The scam attempts to take advantage of the imminent deadline for online applications of tax returns (31st January 2009).
The site aims to collect personal information such as name, address and credit card details. Upon submitting the data, the user is redirected to the real HMRC site. As always you must be wary of any unexpected e-mail and please let friends and family know of the potential threat. Financial institutions never ask for personal information via e-mail. If you are in any doubt do not follow any embedded links in e-mail but verify the validity of the request separately with the organisation claimed to be the sender.