McAfee Labs

U.K. Tax Scams on the Horizon

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By on Mar 30, 2011

As the saying goes: Death and taxes are the only constants in life. This adage can be applied to scams on the Internet as well. Every tax season we can count on scams like these to raise their heads and try to bilk users out of their identity information and hard-earned money. A few of the messaging and spam researchers at McAfee Labs sent me some samples earlier today that I would like to share.

Take a look at the following sample and you will see the typical scam we see during tax season. This one is targeted at United Kingdom computer users and is a decent lure:

This particular scam promises a refund of GBP 239.41 if replied to within 72 hours, cites a few financial institutions, and asks the email reader to click the submission link. That link leads the user to the following fake site:

I found this site interesting because it has a few valid links embedded at the top, but the rest were bogus. Also notice that there is no SiteAdvisor rating at the bottom right. The real HMRC site is rated as green by SiteAdvisor:

All things considered it is a pretty good fake and I am sure will fool quite a few people. If you have SiteAdvisor installed or are using a browser with some built-in phishing protection, you would be proactively protected:

As always, make sure you are staying updated with your security technologies and expect these types of scams and lures in their seasons. A little healthy skepticism might just save one’s identity or bank account!

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