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Sunday, January 31, 2010

UK Residents Warned of Phishing e-Mail

The HMRC said earlier that "tens of thousands" of phishing e-mails had been issued ahead of today's income tax return deadline. The e-mail tells recipients they are eligible for a refund, all they have to do is fill-out some information, including their bank account and/or credit card number(s). Those who have fallen for the scam have had their accounts emptied, credit cards maxed-out, and may have had their information sold to other criminals by now.

Revenue & Customs, or HMRC, Britain's IRS counterpart, said they estimated 20,000 of these e-mails had been sent in the last two weeks, alone - and they expect a "massive upsurge" in similar e-mails after today's deadline. The HMRC has shutdown scammers worldwide, following recent investigations - including criminals in Austria, Mexico, Korea, Thailand, and even here in the States.

The HMRC reminds consumers never to answer such e-mails, as the department contacts customers by snail mail only.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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