Warning over fake HMRC and PayPal emails

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting agency, have issued a warning over two email scams that have come to light in recent weeks.

The HMRC Scam email
The HMRC Scam email

The Action Fraud team have received hundreds of reports from members of the public, including Sussex, that they have been targeted by bogus emails from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and from online payment service PayPal.

In both cases, the official-looking emails direct you to replica websites designed to steal your personal information - including your bank details.

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The fake HMRC ‘tax return notification’ promises recipients money back if they click on the provided link. Users are then prompted to provide credit or debit card details. More than 150 people have raised the scam with Action Fraud.

HMRC will never use emails to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty. Nor will they ask for your personal information.

The PayPal scam, prompts recipients to ‘update their accounts’ before directing them to the phishing site.

An Action Fraud statement read: “We receive reports of PayPal scams all the time but this version is interesting because it list activities which the account holder can and cannot do until they update their account.

“If you click on the ‘update my account’ link you will be directed to a page designed to steal your personal information.”

PayPal will only ever ask you to enter personal details on the secure PayPal website, after you have safely logged in to your PayPal account.

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