A CYBERCRIME expert has warned of a wave of fraudulent text messages and phone calls being sent to Britons with the aim of stealing their cash.
Fraudster Charlie Shakeshaft told The Sun that fraudsters are posing as tax officers to mislead people into a false sense of security before robbing them.
They are sending emails, text messages and WhatsApp messages to victims designed to steal money or financial information from them.
Shakeshaft, the founder of the scam site Personal protection solutions (IPS), is urging people to be on high alert in the coming weeks.
That’s because HMRC-related scams are expected to increase ahead of the self-tax deadline at the end of the month.
During this time period, HMRC sends millions of legitimate emails and messages to taxpayers – which fraudsters will use to their advantage.
Dozens of IPS members have reported HMRC scam attempts. They are a common form of attack as they are applicable to most people in the UK.
“We’ve had a lot of members bring HMRC’s attention to HMRC scams over the years,” Shakeshaft said.
“Most adults are taxpayers and get text messages from HMRC from time to time, so scammers try to exploit that familiarity.”
Phishing messages are so-called phishing attacks that attempt to lure victims to a website that appears to be operated by a trusted organization, such as a bank, social media platform or service other service.
However, the website is fake with fake content designed to convince victims to enter sensitive information, like passwords or email addresses.
Additionally, guests leaving here may be asked to enter their credit card details or online banking credentials.
Over the phone, phishing attackers will pose as an employee of a trusted organization and try to convince you to give them your details.
Whether through fake calls or websites, scammers often try to mimic HMRC messages so they look authentic.
This is because victims are more likely to transfer funds to an organization they recognize and trust.
Shakeshaft explains: “HMRC scams come in many different shapes and sizes, but there are two common techniques.
“In one instance, a scammer posing as HMRC offered a tax refund to the victim and asked for your bank or credit card information to send.
“Obviously, they would then use banking or credit card information to steal money from their victims.”
He added that the second most common technique involves a scammer posing as HMRC claiming that the tax authority is filing a lawsuit against you and you need immediate payment to stop it.
“The idea is that the victim pays the scammer directly – the whole story is made up,” says Shakeshaft.
During the year from August 2020 to July 2021, HMRC identified millions of cases of HMRC fraud.
In particular, they are very popular among cheaters at this time of year, when the self-assessment period ends on January 31st.
Shakeshaft said: “During this December-January period, HMRC sent 4 million legitimate emails and text messages, so many UK nationals are not surprised to receive communication from HMRC on Monday. this moment,” says Shakeshaft.
“It creates a useful smokescreen for scammers masquerading as HMRC as they try to defraud victims.”
To spot a scam HMRC text or call, there are some telltale signs you can look out for.
For example, the revenue department will never send notice of tax breaks or refunds in the amount mentioned by email.
HMRC will never ask for personal or financial information via text message and it does not use Whatsapp.
“If you feel like the caller or the sender is in a hurry, that’s a sign of a scam. Take your time and do your research by contacting HMRC on your own terms – do not use the information in the message.” Shakeshaft said.
“Go to theirs website and contact them directly to double check your personal status. “
The network specialist founded IPS to protect people from scams with a number of online tools, such as free weekly scam alert system.
In the UK, you can report a suspected phishing email to the National Cyber Security Center here.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4456271/scam-expert-dangerous-fake-whatsapp-text-bank/ I’m a scam expert – this dangerous fake WhatsApp text will drain your bank account