Citizens and firms warned to beware of tax ‘phishing’ scam

1 Jul 2009

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The Revenue Commissioners have warned of a fraudulent email scam doing the rounds seeking personal information from taxpayers in connection with a tax refund.

The email asks the recipient to submit personal details, including date of birth and debit and credit-card details.

“This email did not issue from Revenue,” the tax authorities said last night.

“The Revenue Commissioners never send emails which require customers to send personal information via email or pop-up windows,” it warned citizens.

Revenue said that anyone who receives an email purporting to be from the Revenue Commissioners, which they suspect may be fraudulent or a scam, should forward it to webmaster@revenue.ie.

“Alternatively, they can contact their tax district to check the status of any refund that may be due,” Revenue said.

It has urged anyone who provided bank information in response to these emails to contact their bank or credit-card company immediately.

Phishing is a scam where bogus emails are sent to people in order to trick them into revealing personal or financial information. If an unwary person follows a link in the email, they will be taken to a fake web page, which will try to trick them into entering personal information such as a PIN, password, PPSN or bank account information.

That information may be used in various ways; for example, to apply for credit card in the person’s name, or write cheques from their bank account.

By John Kennedy

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com