HMRC suffering identity theft!

Depicting phishing of information from a computer.

Image via Wikipedia

For those of you uncomfortable with computer jargon phishing is defined in Wikipedia as “a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.”
In other words fraudsters are emailing taxpayers and pretending to be HM Revenue & Customs. Some of their antics are becoming quite sophisticated but all are designed to encourage you to part with sensitive personal information; particularly your credit card details!
HMRC have confirmed that they would never email taxpayers about any of the following issues, all of which have been the subject of bogus email campaigns.
1. A tax rebate
2. Any request for bank details
3. Any request for your PayPal details
This is what HMRC have published on their web site:
“HMRC will never send notifications of a tax rebate by email, or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email.
You should never disclose your personal and/or payment information in reply to an email that may look like it’s from HMRC, you may well be revealing your details to a fraudulent website.
If you have received an email claiming to be from HMRC that you suspect may be fraudulent, please forward it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.
However, if you have already given any of your personal information, for example your HMRC User ID, password or National Insurance number, in reply to a suspect email please forward brief details to security.custcon@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.
Please do not disclose any of your personal details or information in the email report to HMRC. However it would help HMRC to investigate if you would tell us the type(s) of information that you disclosed to the suspect website. For example – I gave my Name, Address, Date of Birth, bank card details, HMRC User ID etc.
HMRC will attempt to provide a response to all HMRC related phishing emails and take action to remove reported websites.”

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