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Charities Urged to be Wary of Fraudsters as 1.5 Million Scam Calls Identified During Pandemic

Sun Sep 05 2021

117% rise on phone scams, 1.5 million scam calls, and 13,000 malicious webpages identified during the pandemic.

Charities have been issued another letter warning them against fraudulent tax rebate and refund requests. This august warning was given after 1.5 million scam calls were identified during the pandemic.

A letter addressed to the Charity Tax Group at the end of August, sent by HM Revenue & Customs, warned charities to be careful if they were contacted ‘out of the blue’ by someone asking for money or personal information.

The letter says:

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Criminals are usually trying to steal your money or your personal information to sell on to others. Links or files in emails or texts could also download dangerous software onto your machine or phone.

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The department has seen a rise in fraudulent emails, calls, and texts from people pretending to be from the HMRC. This is the second warning that has been issued to charities, following a warning to be on their guard against fraud and cyber-crime which was issued in April last year via The Charity Commission.

The HMRC said it’s received more than one million referrals from the public about suspicious calls and emails – nearly half offered bogus tax rebates or refunds over the last 12 months.

There’s also been a 117% rise on reports of phone scams, with 442,000 reports being given; plus 13,000 malicious webpages have been reported to the HMRC for removal.

Going forward, charities (and everyone else) should consider for a moment who it is that they’re about to part with their money or divulge information to; don’t give out private information or reply to unexpected messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in unsolicited texts or emails. If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

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Sun Sep 05 2021

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