HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Tax Refund, Legal Action Fake Emails Contain a Viruses; Don’t Open Them

March 19, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

There’s a fake scam e-mail being spread around that purports to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the U.K. tax collection agency, that is spreading a virus.

There are several versions of the e-mail, with one saying that HMRC owes the recipient money and another saying that the person has an unpaid invoice that needs to be handled otherwise legal action will be taken.

It asks the person to open the attached document below, which contains a virus.

“After the last yearly computations of your financial functioning we have defined that you have the right to obtain a tax rebate of 934.80. Please confirm the tax rebate claim and permit us have 6-9 days so that we execute it. A rebate can be postponed for a variety of reasons. For instance confirming unfounded data or applying not in time,” part of one e-mail reads.

Another version says: “We have detected that you have paid too much tax in the past, due to an official error. Therefore HMRC applied ESC B41 to issue a repayment for tax years which are now out of date under the strict statute.”

The one about fraud reads: “Our system registered an unpaid invoice Due to an unpaid invoice registered in our system,we recommend you to pay it in full to avoid legal actions. Please check attached file for more detailed information.”

However, they contain Trojan viruses.

“Once your computer has become infected with one of the malicious viruses or Trojan horses, the cybercriminals behind this email message will be able to access and take control of your computer remotely from anywhere around the world. They may spy on you, use your computer to commit cybercrimes, or steal your personal and financial information,” reads a post from Online Threat Alerts.

Online Threat Alerts has more information about the virus names and how to get rid of them.