Revenue Commissioners warns of email scam

1 Feb 2011

A new scam email in Irish claiming to be from the Revenue Commissioners has been discovered, with users being warned not to give the fraudsters their banking passwords.

The fake message claims that, following a tax assessment for 2010, the recipient is due a tax rebate of €284. A link in the message directs the person to a site that appears to be a Revenue Commissioners page, which is actually intended to trick people into giving away their banking details.

Urban Schrott, IT security and cyber crime analyst with Eset Ireland, said the criminals behind the scam went to some effort to make the site look genuine, including faking the web address style.

According to Schrott, the message hit a large number of email users over the past week. The scam site hiding behind the Revenue address has also been taken offline since, he added. The Revenue Commissioners – the real ones this time – posted warnings about the scam on its website in English and as Gaeilge.

It’s the latest in a number of email scams targeting Irish speakers. Census figures show that around 42pc of the population speaks Irish, although only 3pc of households use it as their primary language. It’s yet another social engineering tactic, designed to trick people into lowering their guard and clicking on a link or giving away passwords.

“This one again shows the determination of the cyber criminals to go after even the less-known languages in order to try to make a profit. So, as always, vigilance is in order,” Schrott warned.

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic