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Monday, 7 July 2014

Email Scams …….again

I am sure everyone has received an email advising them that their bank has introduced some new security method which requires them to enter passwords and other security details into a web page to revalidate or face discontinuation of a service. The email, of course, has not come from the bank but from criminals trying to persuade you to give away information that they may use to gain access to bank accounts, credit card accounts or other financial accounts.

Don't click on the link provided or you will be taken to a web-site which looks remarkably like the web-site for your bank, cheekily, it may even have a warning on it that you should take care to make sure any information you provide is secure. You are invited to enter your security details. By doing this you have provided the criminal with information to gain access to your bank or credit cards.

No bank or other financial institution would ever ask you to enter these details in an email.

However, I recently had notification from HMRC that I was due a tax refund, I wasn't asked for credit card details but my bank details for the refund to be paid to me. Naturally I deleted this "scam email".
Later I received a letter from HMRC telling me that I had a tax rebate due. This was genuine but I still believe that the original notification looked so genuine that it must be false!!

The criminals are getting so clever that it is often difficult to sort the genuine from the false. The motto I always use is "if in doubt, delete".

A genuine notification will always repeat if unanswered, and I did check with my accountant as well.

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