Tax credits are a hot topic at the moment, this is in part to the Conservative death by a thousand cuts, I said cuts, plans which are set to reduce the income of many of the poorest in society by an average of £800 a year. Unfortunately, the adverse media coverage has been picked up by scammers who have devised a fraud which promises tax credit refunds.
Individuals have received messages within the last few days to a week which utilizes the Goo.gl shortening URL to redirect victims to what appears to be a compromised website: The message reads “Dear valued customer, we are happy to inform you that you have a new tax credit refund from HMRC. Click on the following link [URL] to claim your HMRC refund”
These messages have been sent via texts although you may want to keep a look out for other forms including emails in case the scammers diversify. The stats are below concerning this fraud, as you can see, it’s shocking to note that there have been 731 clicks so far considering the scam is pretty new.
- 731 clicks so far, with the majority of them coming from the UK.
- 440 of those were on iPhone, and 252 were using Android. Just 31 people were browsing via Windows.
- The shortened link is around 1 week old, so the scam is pretty fresh.
The phishing page is located at – savingshuffle(dot)com/hmrc/Tax-Refund(dot)php:
The scam page appears to be from HMRC, but to be clear it is certainly NOT from the official government-backed site. The page would like many personal details which includes the following
- telephone number
- card details,
- Sort code and account number.
Scroll further down the page and the scammers would also quite like a piece of “Identity Verification” in the form of a driving license number, national insurance number and mother’s maiden name. There’s also a pre-filled refund amount of £265.48 next to the submit button.
This is fake; this is a scam and please DO NOT under any circumstances click on any link which purports to offer any kind of refund. The official HMRC do not send any messages which purport to offer any kind of refunds in the first place. An official bank or government-backed service wouldn’t start a message with the words “Dear Valued Customer” Also, be aware just in case you receive a message with your name offering a refund, this would also be a scam with absolute certainty.
There will be inevitably more variants of this scam which prey on people’s financial circumstances; always be suspicious.
Thank you malwarebytes for providing us with the information.