Scams are found everywhere and readers of Scamicide can be found in many countries throughout the world which is why I write about scams wherever they may occur. The income tax filing deadline of April 15th just recently passed, but the scams will not end as scammers will be taking advantage of late filers anticipating their income tax refunds. Americans should be wary of a scam presently happening in Britain where people are receiving text messages that appear to come from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) the equivalent of the American IRS. These messages generally lure people into clicking on a link that takes the targeted victim of the scam to a website that appears legitimate and asks for personal information allegedly to confirm the legitimacy of the person filing for the refund. The form also asks for the targeted victim’s bank account number purportedly to have an account to which to wire the tax refund. Unfortunately, people clicking on the link and providing their information either end up downloading malware such as ransomware on to their cell phone or providing personal information used to make the person a victim of identity theft including theft from their bank account.
As I always say, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” You can never be sure whenever you are contacted by a text message or email who is actually contacting you and you should never click on a link contained in a text message or email or provide personal information unless you have absolutely confirmed that the text message or email is legitimate. In the United Kingdom, the HMRC does not contact people by text message or email and neither does the IRS in the United States so if you get a text message or email that appears to come from the HMRC or the IRS, you can be sure it is a scam. While this scam has not yet been reported in the United States, it is quite probable that it will be appearing soon. Forewarned is forearmed.
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