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Cyber criminals hijack HMRC self assessment records


Cyber criminals are stealing money by hijacking peoples HMRC self assessment records.

Fraudsters are using “phishing” techniques to gain personal information, such as taxpayers HMRC login details. Once they have the details, they enter the tax system to change the victims earning information so HMRC offers a tax rebate, which then gets sent to the fraudsters bank account.

Experts working for HMRC have so far detected 17,000 fraudulent attempts to claim almost £100 million in bogus tax repayments. HMRC have warned people to be especially vigilant of their login details and passwords, and also advised against using “shared” computers to log into accounts, such as those in an office or an internet café.

This year, HMRC have introduced a range of new security measures, including '2 Factor Authentication' to reduce the risk of fraud.
A spokeswoman for HMRC has claimed that their systems have not been compromised and highlighted the stringent anti-fraud measures they have in place:

“As one of the most phished brands in the world, HMRC has a strict protocol in place to help customers protect themselves against email scammers.

“Scammers use this peak in online activity to carry out increasingly sophisticated frauds and to make their phishing emails appear genuine and relevant. Cyber criminals are likely to use the approaching 31 January deadline for Self Assessment as a cover for their scams.

“Customers receiving an email from HMRC can check against the protocol to see whether it is genuine or a fraud.”

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