Over 10K COVID-19 phishing cases reported

HM Revenue & Customs faced thousands of phishing reports during the pandemic

phishing

Over 10K COVID-19 phishing cases reported. Source: shutterstock.com

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has received 10,428 scam emails, SMS messages, social media posts, and phone calls exploiting its name amid the pandemic, ComputerWeekly.com reports.

During May, it received 5,152 reports from members of the public and businesses to its phishing reporting service – phishing@hmrc.gov.uk. That’s up from just 133 in March. Meanwhile, the figures for April and June were lower, at 2,558 and 2,105, respectively.

The report states the regular scam targeting the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was not the only one.

A lot of the other scams took the form of SMS messages (smashing), informing the recipient that they were due a tax refund that they could apply for online at an official-looking site using HMRC branding.

The fake site asked for several items of potentially sensitive data, including passport data for verification.

These scams are often cleverly designed with official branding and are incredibly realistic, coaxing unsuspecting victims to hand over confidential information such as bank account details, usernames, and passwords
Chris Ross, international senior vice-president at Barracuda Networks

We’ve reported that the number of impersonating scams increased by 33% since May 2020.

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