Tax email 'is too good to be true'

Authorities warn that criminals are trying to trick taxpayers into giving up important personal information

12 August 2014

ONLINE criminals are trying to trick French taxpayers into giving up vital personal information by sending out an email that says they are in line for a refund, police have warned.

The so-called "phishing" email, which has been sent out in recent days, asks recipients to click on a link and enter personal data, including bank card details to receive the “refund”.

The email appears to be authentic and the website that the links take users to mimics the genuine site accurately, but police have warned that any email that asks for such personal information is fraudulent.

“No institution, or operator is authorised to ask for details of anyone’s credit card via the internet (email, website, forum, etc), not even the tax authorities,” they said in a statement.

Between 2012 and 2013, more than a million French people have been tricked by fake emails similar to the tax refund message currently doing the rounds, software security company Kaspersky said.

Authorities set up an online platform, called PHAROS (plateforme d’harmonisation, d’analyse de recoupement et d’orientation des signalements), where people in France who suspect they may have been the victim of a phishing scam can report the incident.

Users are advised not to respond to any suspect email, or click on any links. Instead they should first report it to PHAROS, then delete it immediately.

France is not the only country targeted by these scam emails. On Monday, authorities in Luxembourg issued a statement warning residents of a "new phishing offensive”.

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