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Sophos: Phishing gangs exploit UK Government UK Government Tax break

November 2008 by Sophos

IT security and control firm Sophos is reminding email users to be vigilant following the discovery of a phishing campaign that seeks to capitalise on news that the UK Chancellor is expected to introduce pre-budget tax cuts.

Samples intercepted by SophosLabs claim to come from ‘UK Government & Ministry of Finance’ and offer to return tax to ‘every man aged between 30 and 55 years’. Unsuspecting users who wish to take advantage of the offer of GBP 450 - GBP 650 for ‘family maintenance’ are directed to a webpage that asks for information, such as age, marital status and number of children, which could then be used by fraudsters to build identity profiles.

"At a time when many people will be uncertain about their finances and job security, cybercriminals have clearly been quick to take advantage of the situation,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “As the Government is expected to make announcements relating to recession-busting tax cuts, those eager for the bigger picture should monitor official channels and ignore any unsolicited emails asking for personal details. This campaign, coming in the run-up to Christmas, also takes advantage of the trend for special-offers and vouchers to be circulated via email - computer users should do their best to stay mindful of the risks.”

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