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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 25 January, 2020
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Revenue warning of bogus calls demanding payment of tax bill

Revenue advised anyone who received such a call to contact their local revenue office.

Image: Shutterstock/PKpix

PEOPLE ARE RECEIVING scam calls from a person purporting to work in Revenue.

The person is demanding the immediate payment of a tax bill or stating that a criminal case is being taken.

Revenue says it is aware that a number of individuals have received these phone calls but warned: “This person is not calling from Revenue”.

In a statement Revenue advised anyone who received such a call to contact their local Revenue office. It added that if victims of the scam provided the caller with information, they should contact their bank or credit card company and the gardaí.

If you receive a telephone call purporting to be from Revenue about which you have any doubts, particularly if the call is out of the blue, you should contact your Revenue office.

“If you receive contact demanding payment of tax about which you have any doubt, you should contact our collector general’s division (1890 20 30 70).

“Although we have not received reports of anyone being taken in by this scam, anyone who mistakenly provides personal information in response to these types of fraudulent phone calls should contact their bank or credit card company immediately and alert the gardaí.

“It is important to point out that these types of scams in no way involve Revenue’s systems or security.”

GDPR Phishing Mail 

Separately gardaí are warning people to be cautious as online customers are being asked to update personal user agreements so services such as email updates or record maintenance can be continued under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

It will mean that companies, including those based outside the EU but processing personal data from within it, will have to be particularly careful about how they collect and share a person’s data. It will officially come into force on Friday 25 May.

Gardaí say cybercriminals will see this as an opportunity to send fake GDPR notices to customers asking them to confirm login or personal information via online links.

Recent enquiries have already identified a string involving the sending of fake notices which allege to be from Airbnb asking customers to update details in order to continue their agreement.

Clicking on fake or fraudulent links within a phishing email can result in:

  • Redirecting people to fake/infected sites for watering-hole attacks targeting specific online users or organisations
  • Malicious attachments which appear to be GDPR related documents or invitations which attack the network or system
  • Request for private or personal and financial information such as account details, credit card details, passwords etc.
  • Harvesting of email account details which can be exploited for marketing or junk mail campaigns

The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau advises that before following any link which asks for personal or financial data, you should ensure:

  • You are careful before responding to unsolicited emails
  • You have an agreement with the service sending you the email
  • The email address used to send the message is genuine and from the provider
  • The link within the email is genuine. You can check this by either hovering over it to ensure it leads to where it says it does, or by checking the page it leads to and its contents
  • If  you are still unsure contact the service provider or organisation and confirm that they sent the email
  • Never supply banking or financial information via email

All incidents of phishing or theft of personal information should be reported to your local garda station with a copy of the original email you received.

People are also reminded that banking institutions never ask for personal information via email. “If you receive one delete it and report it to your bank or financial institution.”

Gardaí added that while there are no reports of any incident reported in Ireland to date, a number of incidents have been reported throughout Europe.

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