by Anne Reily, Founder and CEO of PaycheckPlus
It’s well known, and experienced by many, that phishing attacks in general continue to rise and it seems that Revenue has increased their number of warnings regarding fraudulent emails and SMS (text messages) purporting to be coming from them. People must be more careful now than ever before given the regularity and prevalence of attacks. With this in mind we’ve compiled Revenue’s published articles that provide valuable information that will help people not fall victim of phishing from attacks that appear to come from Revenue.
Phishing (email scam)
Phishing is a scam where bogus emails are sent to people in order to trick them into revealing personal or financial information. If an unwary person follows a link in the email, they will be taken to a fake web page, which will try to trick them into entering personal information such as a PIN, password, PPSN or bank account information. That information may be used in various ways, e.g. to apply for credit cards in the person’s name, or write cheques from their bank account.
Phishing emails may contain Revenue’s logo and have official-sounding text, they may even carry a warning about phishing. A phishing scam that has occurred in the past claimed to be from Revenue, informing the recipients that they were eligible to receive a tax refund. It offered a link to an online claim form, which asked for personal and financial information, including bank account details where the promised refund would supposedly be credited.
SMS Fraud (Smishing)
‘Smishing’ is the name given to fraudulent schemes whereby you are sent an SMS (text message) containing a link to a fraudulent website or a phone number in an attempt to collect personal information.
Smishing attacks, whereby people are sent a text message with links to a fake website that look similar to the Revenue website have been reported.
- The Revenue Commissioners never send emails or text messages requiring customers to send personal information via email, text or pop-up windows
- Revenue recommends using their MyEnquiries service for any communication that includes personal or confidential information (MyEnquiries is a structured online contact facility that allows customers to securely send and receive correspondence to and from Revenue instead of using email)
What to do
- 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. If you are awaiting a tax refund you can contact your tax district to check the status of any refund that may be due. You can get your district’s details by using Revenue’s contact locator here and your PPS Number.
- Anyone who provided personal information in response to these fraudulent emails or text messages should contact their bank or credit card company immediately