You know what it is like when you are eagerly awaiting something.  You can’t wait, even though you know it is only a matter of time.

But now – for me – the waiting is over.

Finally, just a couple of hours ago it arrived.

Not my Labour Party ballot paper – I got that at the beginning of the week.

No, it’s my personalised phishing email from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Less than a day after HMRC announced that some six million people had paid the wrong amount of tax enterprising fraudsters began emailing people all over the country telling them that they were entitled to a tax rebate and inviting them to provide details of their bank accounts so that they could have said accounts emptied/be sent their entitlement.

I was beginning to feel left out, but now it’s arrived.

Today after the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund.

Complete the individual tax refund form attached this confidential message.

After completing the form allow us 5-9 business days in order to process it.

Your verification form will only be valid only for 24 hours.

Sincerely,
HM Revenue & Customs“

The form itself is very user-friendly and asks for those hardy perennials: full address, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, telephone number etc – everything needed in fact to answer most standard bank security questions.  And is accompanied by a stern HMRC-like warning:

Important: The tax law imposes heavy penalties for giving false or misleading information

No doubt, I’m about the thirty-millionth person to receive one of these, but I can’t help wondering why the Government has done so little to warn people about these and to make it clear that HMRC will be WRITING to all those affected and would NEVER request such details by e-mail.

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