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Revenue and Customs: Fraudulent E-mails

Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of fraudulent e-mails circulating under the designation HM Revenue and Customs with an e-mail address and a postal address at Plymouth, PL6 5BZ, advising recipients of tax refunds due; whether they have referred that matter to the police; and whether HM Revenue and Customs has procedures for alerting the public about it. [HL5304]

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) takes online security, including instances of “phishing”, very seriously. Customers are encouraged to forward potentially fraudulent e-mails to the department’s phishing mailbox, The e-mails are then analysed and action taken in concert with the Metropolitan Police to close them down.

Information about phishing/scam attempts and advice on how to avoid fraud are provided to the public through the department's website at uk/security/fraud-scams.htm.

HMRC is aware of this specific phishing attempt and is working with the Metropolitan Police’s e-crime unit to close it down. HMRC did not publicise details on its website about this particular incident due to the very low numbers in circulation in comparison to other attacks. The department has advised customers who submitted it to the department's phishing mailbox that the email was a scam and that HMRC were taking action to disrupt it.