A new email phishing scam, falsely purporting to be from the ‘Government Digital Service Team’, has been uncovered by the Parliament Street think tank’s cyber research team.
The sophisticated phishing attack targets low-income earners and claims that the addressee will be receiving a Council Tax Reduction of almost £400.
The fraudulent email uses official branding and government logos to trick the user into thinking the content is legitimate, before redirecting them to a malicious site designed to harvest personal information, such as bank card details, account number, sort code and security code, as well as a home address and mobile number.
The email begins ‘You have a new message from GOV.UK about your Council Tax’. Further down the accompanying message says: “You are getting a Council Tax Reduction (this used to be called Council Tax Benefit) considering you’re on a low income or get benefits. * Total amount of benefits: GBP 385.50. * The refunded amount will be transferred directly on your Debit/Credit card. * Apply now to claim the reductions made over your past 2 years of Council Tax payments.
The scam has already been flagged to locals in Wrexham, Cheshire, and Runcorn via local Councils, but the scam is believed to have started a second wave, targeting hundreds of others across the UK.
Researchers at the Parliament Street cyber research team have identified hundreds of new incidents of the email landing in the inboxes of individuals across the UK. The research team also noted that the scam email had several notable discrepancies, including stating a refund of £385.55 was available in the subject header, which is a different to the amount you’ll supposedly get that’s stated in the main email of £385.50.