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Home Malware Bogus HMRC ‘Unsuccessful Submission’ Emails Point to Malware Websites

Bogus HMRC ‘Unsuccessful Submission’ Emails Point to Malware Websites

by Brett M. Christensen

This email, which purports to be from the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs ( HMRC ), claims that your submission was received but failed data checks and could not be accepted.

The email urges you to click a link to view your submission and send a corrected version.

However, the email is not from HMRC and the claim that a document submission was unsuccessful is just a ruse designed to trick you into clicking the link.

In fact, clicking the link can take you to websites that harbour malware. The exact nature of this malware may vary although it is likely designed to steal sensitive information from infected computers. The malware selectively targets systems based on characteristics defined by the criminals, so not every user who clicks the link may receive the malicious payload.

If you receive this email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

Note also that online criminals regularly use fake HMRC emails to distribute phishing scams as well as malware

An example of the malware email:

Unsuccessful submission for Reference 475-VB22516

The submission for reference 475-VB22516 was successfully received but unfortunately failed HM Revenue & Customs data checks and could not be accepted.

Please use the link below to view your submission, correct it and send again.

View submission for reference 475-VB22516

If you continue having problems, please contact the Online Services Helpdesk.

Telephone 0300 200 3600, Textphone 0300 200 3603 or email
We are open:

Monday to Friday – 08.00 to 20.00

Saturday – 08.00 to 16.00

(We are closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,