The phishing scam claims taxpayers are eligible to receive a refund
The scam email is purported to have been sent from Revenue
Web users first receive a forged Irish Tax and Customs email first
DUBLIN, Ireland - The Revenue department has alerted web users that a massive phishing scam is doing the rounds, targeting Irish taxpayers.
ESET Ireland group revealed in a report that an email scam affects web users, who receive emails and text message regarding an apparent tax refund.
The Revenue agency and ESET Ireland explained that the phishing scam claims taxpayers are eligible to receive a refund and that the scam email is purporting to have been sent from Revenue.
The group said that web users first receive a forged Irish Tax and Customs email.
The email claims that the individual is "eligible to receive a refund of 265.48 GBP.”
ESET said in its report that clicking the link first brings users to a compromised French consultancy website, before redirecting them to a Singapore one.
The links display as ‘HTTPS’ in both the cases - which is often seen as an indicator that the website is safe and secure.
Explaining the scam methodology further, ESET's Urban Schrott said, "Over the years we've been constantly told that HTTPS means the website is secure, but what many fail to realize is that HTTPS merely means that the communication with that site is encrypted. If cybercriminals manage to compromise a website with a valid HTTPS certificate, or even if they acquire a certificate themselves, the victims are given a false sense of security and end up giving up their sensitive data more easily."
Then, the phishing website asks users for their PPS number, date of birth, password, full name, address, city, phone number, payment card number, code and expiry date, before redirecting them back to the genuine Revenue site.
Revenue said in a statement on Tuesday, "The Revenue Commissioners never send emails or text messages requiring customers to send personal information via email, text or pop-up windows.”
It further warned that anyone expecting a genuine tax refund should contact their local Revenue office to check its status and said, "Anyone who receives an email or text message purporting to be from Revenue and suspects it to be fraudulent or a scam should simply delete it."
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