Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Irish Revenue email and text scams abundant

ESET Ireland warns of increased number of Revenue related scams targeting Irish mailboxes and mobile devices.

We’ve been seeing the same pattern for several years now, with the quantity of Irish Tax and Customs related email and text scams intensifying at the end of the year. In the past weeks we’ve seen several varieties appearing in Irish mailboxes.

One is very bare. The subject says “Refund Invoice ID#: 73867522” and the content just claims there is a pending €161.00 refund and offers a link “Refund now”, which leads to a fraudulent website.

Another is more detailed:

“Subject: Refund #927166209

You are reciving this notification because you are yet to claim your tax refund which has accrued up to 244,79 EUR

This is the last and Final notice we will be sending regarding this issue. You are require to Submit the tax refund request using the reference below.

Refund Now

For security reason we will record ( IP Adress, Time and Date ) Deliberate wrong input will be criminally pursued.

Your Sincerely HM Revenue & Customs”

Yet another is even more formal:

“Revenue – Irish Tax & Customs Online Confirmation

Dear Applicant

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive tax refund 376.51 Euro

To access your tax refund, please click the link below and fill the Tax Refund Form.

Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 2-5 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. As example, for submitting invalid records or applying over the deadline.

Click here to apply the form


Anthony Poole
Irish Revenue Credit Office

Copyright 2016, Irish Revenue & Customs. All rights reserved.”

The faked email addresses vary, either stating “Revenue - Tax Refund” or“Revenue Commissioners” but appear to come from an .ie email address. The sender does not appear to discriminate much between UK and Irish Revenue, which suggests a similar template is also sent to UK email addresses.

The links contained in all of them link to fake Revenue websites, where victims are asked to fill out forms and hand over their personal info and accounts details to scammers.

The Irish Revenue website warns of these scams as well, pointing out that “These emails and text messages did not issue from Revenue. The Revenue Commissioners never send emails or text messages requiring customers to send personal information via email, text or pop-up windows.”

They also add that “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. Anyone who is actually awaiting a tax refund should contact their local Revenue Office to check its status.”