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Revenue warns internet users over fake email 'tax refund' scam

If you get an email offering you a €278 tax refund, steer clear – sadly, it’s too good to be true.

THE REVENUE COMMISSIONERS has advised internet users to disregard emails purporting to be from ‘Irish Tax and Customs Online’ advising them about the possibility of a tax refund.

The emails, which have been distributed in the last two days, advise users that the Revenue “must pay you back 278 EUR” and provides a link to a website carrying the Revenue’s branding and logos, seeking their personal information.

Revenue says it has had the site taken offline by the hosting company involved, and that the site was not a Revenue Commissioners website.

“These emails did not issue from Revenue. We never send emails requiring customers to send personal information via email or pop-up windows,” the body said in a statement this afternoon.

In fact, although the website’s URL contained the words ‘revenue-ie’, the site – which was registered in Australia – appeared to have been created by a third party hoping to coax unsuspecting users into sharing personal financial data.

“Anyone who receives an email purporting to be from Revenue and suspects it to be fraudulent or a scam should simply delete it,” Revenue advised.

It added that anyone who had clicked on a similar link and submitted personal details should contact their bank and credit card company as quickly as possible to ensure that their funds had not been compromised.

Users who were legitimately awaiting the processing of a refund are advised to contact their local Revenue office to check its status.

The image below shows what the fraudulent emails look like:

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