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Finnish tax agency warns of phishing email scam

The Finnish Tax Administration has warned that bogus emails - which an unknown number of people across the country received on Thursday - are likely coming from an international scam operation. The emails falsely claim to have been sent by the tax administration and try to fool people into divulging sensitive banking and personal information.

Verotoimisto
File photo of Finnish Tax Administration. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

The Finnish Tax Administration has warned that Finnish taxpayers are being targeted by a phishing scam.

The tax office says that emails being sent to residents of Finland which falsely state that recipients are eligible for refunds. The tax authority has been the focus of similar phishing expeditions before.

The agency says that it never sends its clients messages by email or SMS, and never asks for customers' bank account or credit card numbers, and recommends that people who receive the bogus email to delete it without opening it.

The fraudulent emails sent out on Thursday state (in Finnish) that the recipient is eligible for a tax refund of 318.12 euros and provides a link to read more about it.

 

Kuvakaappaus huijausviestistä.
The Finnish Tax Administration says that emails being sent to residents of Finland which falsely state that recipients are eligible for refunds. Image: Kuvakaappaus huijausviestistä.

Clicking the link - which the tax administration does not recommend - leads to a webpage where the fraudsters try to get people to enter personal and banking details.

This form of internet trickery is commonly known as email phishing, which is the attempt by people pretending to be a representative of a trusted entity (like a state agency, bank or other company) in order to obtain sensitive data like passwords, email addresses and financial details from unsuspecting recipients of the email.

On its website, the tax authority says that "anyone who has given their bank information in response to a spam message is advised to block their bank cards. For Finnish cards, the phone number of the blocking service is 020 333 (if you are not in Finland when making the call, dial +358 20 333)."

The tax administration says it has taken action to resolve the issue.

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