Tax refund email is too good to be true

Graham Cluley

The holiday season can be taxing for many of us.

Your house is full of unwanted relatives, kids are crying that they wanted a cuddly Adipose toy not a voice-changing Cyberman’s mask, and – of course – a mysterious absence of batteries as soon as the presents have been unwrapped.

If you decide to escape from it by over-indulging in eggnog, be careful that you don’t let your defences drop when it comes to securing your computer and bank accounts.

Take this spam email which I just saw, for instance. It’s targeted at British tax payers, but we’ve seen similar phishing scams pretending to come from, say, the American IRS in the past.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? And of course it is.

Everyone would love to get an unexpected windfall, especially if you have spent a little too much money on the festivities. But clicking on that link will actually take you to a bogus website attempting to steal your credentials. Forget Santa and his reindeer helping themselves to a mince…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.