HM Revenue and Customs – You have received a tax refund payment ! is an email pretending to come from HM Revenue & Customs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the major common subjects in a phishing attempt is Tax returns, where especially in UK, you need to submit your Tax Return online before 31st December each year.
This one wants your personal details and your credit card and bank details. Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your email, facebook and other social network log in details.
Please read our How to protect yourselves page for simple, sensible advice on how to avoid being infected by this sort of socially engineered malware.
The original email looks like this, and of course at this time of year ( or anytime of year) we all need a few extra pennies and the offer of a tax refund is always welcome. It will NEVER be a genuine email from HMRC so don’t ever fill in the html ( webpage) form that comes attached to the email. Some versions of this phish will have a link to a website that looks at first glance like the genuine HMRC website. That is also false.
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity
we have determined that you are eligible to receive
a tax refund under section 501(c) (3) of the
Internal Revenue Code. Tax refund value is £189.60.
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days
in order to IWP the data received.
If u don’t receive your refund within 9 business
days from the original mailing date shown,
you can start a refund trace online.
If you distribute funds to other organization, your records must show wether
they are exempt under section 497 (c) (15). In cases where the recipient org.
is not exempt under section 497 (c) (15), you must have evidence the funds will
be used for section 497 (c) (15) purposes.
If you distribute fund to individuals, you should keep case histories showing
the recipient’s name and address; the purpose of the award; the maner of
section; and the realtionship of the recipient to any of your officers, directors,
trustees, members, or major contributors.
To access the form for your tax refund, please click here
This notification has been sent by the HM Revenue & Customs,
Director, Exempt. Organization
Rulings and Agreements Letter
HM Revenue & Customs
If you follow the link you see a webpage looking like this where they want your email address and name.
They then pretend to do a search based on your name and email. Then you get sent on to the nitty gritty where they want all your banking and credit information
All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email. Whether it is a message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” and it appears to come from a friend or is more targeted at somebody who regularly is likely to receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day. Or whether it is a straight forward attempt, like this one, to steal your personal, bank, credit card or email and social networking log in details. Be very careful when unzipping them and make sure you have “show known file extensions enabled“, And then look carefully at the unzipped file. If it says .EXE then it is a problem and should not be run or opened.