The British hackers involved in this “tax scam” employ a well-honed technique – echoing a similar campaign that recently hit France. In both cases, victims receive messages purporting to be from the tax authorities. In the message, the victim is told that he or she has to pay a large sum of money, and a link to a credit card payment is provided.
In one variant, the message is accompanied by a telephone number that connects the victim to agents whose sole purpose is to collect bank data. In the UK, the Individual Protection Solutions website predicts a rise in scams as the next UK income tax deadline approaches. A manager at the site says they have been seeing a “large number” of such scams for “years”.
problem is made worse by the fact that in the UK, the Treasury is likely to contact people by text message. And of course whatever the variant, the site or the agents to which victims are redirected do everything to look like public finance agents. In France, the DGFiP also indicates that “ attempts to defraud by e-mail or telephone
usurping the e-mail addresses and identity of DGFiP agents are multiplying” – and that the phenomenon comes back in waves, with each new major deadline.
Recently, many French people have received emails claiming to come from the deputy director general of the Public Finances, Antoine Magnant. In some cases, the hackers have gone so far as to call the victims pretending to be the person in charge. However, it is rather easy to detect these emails, by looking carefully at the address. Many of the messages come from “firstname.lastname@example.org”. However, the addresses of the French administration that all end with .gouv.fr.
“We invite you to be very vigilant about the content of messages you receive by being particularly attentive to all signs and details that may reveal that it is a fraudulent message: spelling errors or syntax, requests for detailed information on the company or its bank details, etc.,”
advises the DGFiP in its latest press release. Bitdefender Plus Antivirus