WATCH OUT FOR DATA THIEVES’ LATEST SCAM

Scammers are targeting people’s online tax accounts and attempting to steal sensitive personal data, HMRC officials have warned. It’s been reported by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) that various accountants’ clients have received emails, which are described by HMRC as “a tactic by scammers to direct people to a phishing site and steal personal details.”

The emails purport to be from the Government Gateway and contain a confirmation code to confirm an email address. “If such requests are received, these should be reported to HMRC,” the ICAEW says, adding that “HMRC advises that anyone who has received an email they haven’t requested, to verify a change to their online account, should ignore it. Taxpayers and agents should also ignore any follow-up emails asking them to click a link.”

A statement from HMRC added that “systems have not been compromised – but criminals have attempted to create fake customer accounts or to access existing accounts using personal data obtained through a variety of routes, including breaching other organisations’ security.”

If you receive a message like the one described here, the advice is to tell HMRC about it by forwarding it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk.

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