Have you ever received one of those emails from HMRC telling you that you are due a refund on the tax you paid? You’re not alone, the independent reports that 50,000 people a day have being targeted by this scam.
Fooling people into clicking a link and divulging their tax details is not the technique used by hackers to get hold of sensitive data. Other tricks include notices of unpaid invoices which when clicked install a virus and there are several others.
This kind of cybercrime is nothing new of course but criminal gangs, state sponsored hackers and even individuals working alone are using increasingly sophisticated methods to trap unsuspecting business owners and staff.
One of these methods is called spoofing where mail can be sent from what appears to be a legitimate email address such as tax demands from a .gov domain. It is relatively easy for moderately savvy Internet users to be able to do this and it can often be effective in catching people out.
With various tax deadlines coming up, more people than ever are vulnerable to clicking on links that will either send them a various or steal sensitive data.
The key to avoiding getting caught is never to click on a link that asks for your business and personal details without doing a manual check on the website it is supposed to come from first. Also HMRC will never inform you of a tax refund by email.