HMRC Phishing Scam
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HMRC “Last Fiscal Activity” Tax Refund Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email purporting to be from UK tax agency HMRC claims that the agency has recalculated your last fiscal activity and determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund.


Analysis:
The email is not from HMRC. The promise of an unexpected tax refund is just the bait used to trick you into clicking a link.

If you do click the link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that asks you to supply your name, address, and contact details along with other identifying information. The fake HMRC site also asks you to supply your credit card numbers.  Supposedly, all of this information is required to allow the processing of your refund claim.

In reality, the information you supply will be collected by scammers and used to commit credit card fraud and steal your identity.

This message is just one in a long line of fake tax refund notifications that are designed to trick people into giving their personal and financial information to online criminals.  Other versions claim to be from the IRS, the ATO, and other tax agencies all around the world.

The HMRC website includes information about dealing with such phishing scams.

If you receive one of these tax refund emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

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Example:

HMRC Last Fiscal Activity Phishing Scam




Last updated: March 20, 2017
First published: March 20, 2017
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
HMRC ‘You Are Eligible To Receive A Tax Refund’ Phishing Scam
HMRC – Phishing and scams
‘Claim Your Tax Refund Online’ Phishing Email

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,
Hoax-Slayer