A slightly more professional scam

  Chris the Ancient 08:51 07 Jan 2010

I went into my hotmail account this morning and there, in all the usual junk, was one form the tax man at HMRC offering a tax refund! The 'give away' was when I was asked to "open the form attached to this confidential communication!. Plus it was only valid for a few days.

I opened the attached html form, out of curiosity, and I have to admit, it was a well-created one with the usual demands for credit card number, mother's maiden name etc.; but the links for images, 'privacy policy' etc. actually went to the hmrc website!

Funny, peculiar, but the 'submit' button didn't!

Now, I wonder if I should complete it and send it off in case I really do get a tax refund!

(BTW, to avoid clouds of replies, that last paragraph was most definitely tongue in cheek!)


  Legolas 08:57 07 Jan 2010

I'm glad you put in your BTW or I would have thought that CtA was losing his touch.

  Clapton is God 09:02 07 Jan 2010

I'm surprised that "HMRC" have only just got around to e-mailing you. They've been e-mailing me regularly for many months now (sometimes several times in the same day). ;-))

I've also been receiving regular e-mails from the US Inland Revenue Service who, apparently, also have refunds waiting for me - even though I've never worked in the US or paid US taxes in my life.

  Chris the Ancient 09:11 07 Jan 2010

It just goes to show how keen they are to give you some money.

And to have some $US as well. I can only dream of that.


  Chris the Ancient 09:14 07 Jan 2010

Some things (OK, many things) I may have lost my touch in. I could list them except for the length limit to any posting. But to believe that hmrc would give me money wouldn't be in it!

  Chris the Ancient 10:15 07 Jan 2010

OK. I've thought about this more seriously. I've imagined, say, somebody like my 90-year-old father getting an email like this and possibly falling for it. For these sorts of reasons, I hate spam, fake lottery scams and various other devious methods of stealing money from people who are less street-wise and can, probably, least afford it.

I wonder how the 'spam cops' deal with this sort of thing.

Out of idle curiosity (coz I'm stuck indoors with no work - thanks to the road conditions) I looked deeper into what was in the beautifully presented form. In the code, I found the link for the submit button which had just a standard IP Address and looked it up in 'whois'. It came up as a company in Dallas, Texas. Put the address into Google Earth by address - and then zip code. There was about two miles between both locations. So, I find it less than likely that the local SWAT team are going to be rushing to the door(s) to find out what's going on because it's all obviously a 'front'. Using 'tracert' does take me to Dallas, so it may well be in that city. If the IP were located in some 3rd-world country things would have been harder to localise and some form of law enforcement even less likely (land of the pirates comes to mind).

Or, do nominet (or whoever) just cut off that IP address?

How often do these low-life cheats get away with it so much? What sort of proportion never get caught? And if they do get caught, what sort of penalties do they suffer?


  Pineman100 19:09 07 Jan 2010

I received one of those emails from HMRC. I was almost tempted to claim the £320 tax rebate, but actually it didn't really seem worth the effort.

It's peanuts compared with the £8m that I shall shortly receive from a Nigerian prince.

  Forum Editor 23:58 07 Jan 2010

compared with the £8m that I shall shortly receive from a Nigerian prince."

Which will be taxed as unearned income,there'll be no resemblance to peanuts. He's a generous lad, that prince - half the people in my road are getting the same as you from him.

  Pineman100 18:51 08 Jan 2010

Damn! I thought I was special...

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Huawei MateBook X Pro review

How Pentagram and other design agencies aim to double the number of creative female leaders

How to speed up a slow Mac

Comment résoudre des problèmes d’impressions ?