Irish Taxpayers Targeted in Phishing Attack

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Consumers should be wary of a scam involving fraudulent emails and texts purporting to come from the Revenue Commissioners, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten warned on Thursday.

The phishing scam attempts to obtain debit or credit card details from Revenue clients. The texts and emails purport to relate to a “tax refund”, but they are bogus and not issued by Revenue.

Minister Naughten said: “This is a common type of email scam where those who receive it are told they are eligible to receive a tax refund. It presents a link to an online claim form, which asks for personal and financial information, including bank details.

“Anyone who may be actually awaiting a tax refund should contact their local Revenue Office to check its status,” he added, urging anybody in receipt of a bogus message not to open emails or reply to the “cyber criminals”.

Revenue asks anybody who receives one of these emails or text messages and suspects it to be fraudulent to forward it to webmaster@revenue.ie and then delete it.

Those who may have provided information in response to these emails or texts are advised to contact their bank or credit card company immediately.

“Revenue never sends emails or text messages requiring people to send their personal information over email, text or by any other insecure means,” Mr Naughten said.

Revenue statement

In a statement, Revenue said its internet sites are certified under a “globally recognised Information Security Standard which is independently audited and sets requirements in areas such as information security organisation; data handling; and networks; ensuring that taxpayers personal information is secure.”

Revenue added that it regularly posts warnings on its website to alert customers of phishing scams, but “there is no information available on the number of people affected by such fraudulent emails”.