I have just received my first domain name ‘scam email’ and so I thought I would highlight this issue and including details of known HM Revenue & Customs email scams.

Domain name scam

Today I received an email that read as follows:

Dear CEO/Manager,

We are a domain name registration center in Hongkong,mainly dealing with domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection. On November.17,2009 we received a formal application from a local company of your country who is applying to register some domain names with the keyword “derekchadderton ” and register it as their keyword. After investigation,we find that you are the original user of the keyword. As this refers to your company name or trade mark, and in order to avoid the confusion and dispute on the internet, we inform you and would like to know your ideas, if you agree about this issue, we will finish the third company’s registration, If you don’t agree the third company to register, please inform me.looking forward to your reply.thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Look forward to your reply.
Kind Regards,

Diana Mill

Address: 19/F., First Block, New World Bldg.,
No.18 Quen Middle Road,
Zhonghuan,
Hong Kong

Tel: +852-31757931(ext8003)
Fax:+852-31757932
Email:Diana.mill@hknsc.org
Website: www.hk-net.hk

Now the first thing that struck me was the English name which did not fit with the poor typing and grammar and so whether Diana Mill works for hknsc I cannot say but the websites checked out fine.

I concluded this was a scam after reading an article on Jon Wein’s Blog in Japan (click to link) and as I give full credit to his site I hope he will not mind me including some of his text:

“Don’t fall for this scam, they’re playing on fear.

If you own a .com, .net or national TLD (.co.uk, de., .fr, etc) domain but are not planning to set up a Chinese office or not even doing any business in China you have no reason to spend money on a domain registration with a Chinese registrar. Also, trademarks and domains are largely separate issues. You don’t become a trademark owner merely by registering a domain and vice versa.

The only domains that really count for your business are .com/.net/.org (depending on the nature of your organisation) and/or the country code top level domain (cc TLD, such as .co.uk or .jp) if you’re based outside the USA.”

HM Revenue & Customs email scams

In September 2009 alone there were approximately 80,000 received phishing or scam emails that purported to originate from HM Revenue & Customs (click to link).

Therefore I include summary details of the 3 most recent email scams listed on the HM Revenue & Customs’ website at my blog post date. As there are plenty more (and possibly more recent ones) please click to view the full list (click to link).

Notice of Underreported Income – 12 October 2009

An email from no-reply@hmrc.gov.uk entitled Notice of Underreported Income is currently being circulated. The email links to a fake HMRC website entitled ‘Fraud Application’ and asks that you download and review a tax statement document. The website then opens an executable file on your machine.

The email is not from HMRC. You should be aware that opening executable files (.exe) over the internet can potentially compromise the security on your machine.

HMRC do not issue emails asking for personal details.

Do not visit the website contained within the email or disclose any personal or payment information.

National Insurance Contributions email – 7 October 2009

An email is in circulation entitled National Insurance Contributions, stating that a payment has not been made. The email contains a link to a fraudulent website that requests the disclosure of payment/personal details. The email is not from HMRC.

Tax rebate – updated 30 September 2009

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would not inform customers of a tax rebate via email, or invite them to complete an online form to receive a rebate of tax.

Do not visit the website contained within the email or disclose any personal or payment information.

Email addresses used to distribute the tax rebate emails include:

• tax-inform@hmrc-information.co.uk
• tax-individuals@hm-treasury.co.uk
• online@hmrc.online-advantage.co.uk
• office.tax@hmrc.taxreturn.co.uk
• customers@hmrc.gov.uk
• help.desk@hmrc.notify-online.co.uk
• online.notify@hmrc-customs.co.uk
• hmrchelpdesk@hrmchelpdesk.co.uk
• securemail@hmrc.gov.uk
• tax-refund@hmrcforms.co.uk
• hmrc@tax-revenue.uk
• refundsdept@hmrc.gov.uk
• hmrc@tax-revenue.uk
• refunds@hmrc.gov.uk
• taxcredits@hmrc.co.uk
• service@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
• officer.robinson@hmrc.co.uk

HMRC does not send out emails using these email addresses.

copyright ©2009

This article is for discussion purposes only and does not represent advice on which you should act without consulting a professional as tax legislation is complex and changes frequently.

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