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Fraudsters exploit data loss debacle

22 February 2008
Categories: News
Security experts warn of phishing scam

Online criminals are exploiting last year's controversial loss by HMRC of the confidential information of child benefit claimants.

Web security company McAfee has warned of a phishing scam — an attempt to fraudulently obtain people's personal details.

Fraudsters pose as legitimate organisations, despite the fact that such bodies never contact members of the public in such a way.

Bogus HMRC emails have been sent out offering recipients the opportunity to claim £215 as compensation for lost personal info.

This is intended to appeal to those who were among the 25 million affected when the two computer disks were misplaced by the Revenue last autumn.

The email then asks the reader to click a link to what has been described as a 'suspect' website. It is no longer available.

This latest online racket is similar to those operated in the USA, where criminals send out messages purportedly from the IRS.

For a guide to spotting and avoiding phishing, visit the HMRC help page on the subject.

Categories: News
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