Written by: Emma Lunn
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is warning the public to look out for scam emails purporting to offer a National Insurance refund.
The email is designed to look like an official government department communication.
The message informs the recipient that according to their National Insurance contributions, they are eligible for a tax refund as part of measures to alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.
The CTSI says the email quotes a refund amount of £128.34 and asks the recipient to click a link to claim the cash.
But the link goes to a page which requests the banking details of the user which sends the data to fraudsters.
The National Insurance scam follows a similarly bogus business grant scam reported earlier this month.
Katherine Hart, lead officer for doorstep crime at CTSI, says: “This is another email scam themed around the Covid-19 pandemic clad in government department branding. Millions of people have either been furloughed or made redundant during the lockdown, and I am concerned that some may jump at the opportunity to claim this phoney refund.
“If you receive this email, please report it to the authorities, and do not click any links contained within them.”
To report scam emails, forward the original message to firstname.lastname@example.org. An automated system run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will scan the email, and if malicious links are found, the associated website will be taken down.
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