UK Tax Department Investigated over 2.6 Million Phishing Attacks in Three Years

UK’s HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) has been investigating taxpayer complaints about a surge in phishing attacks. After implementing DMARC for extra email protection in 2016, the tax collection service intercepted and blocked 300 million phishing emails, Infosecurity reports.

According to a report from UK think tank Parliament Street, the country’s taxpayers are still among the most targeted groups. In the past three financial years, HRMC took in more than 2.6 million phishing reports, including tax rebate emails, phone calls and texts, Parliament Street says, based on information received from a Freedom of Information request.

While the worst year in terms of the number of phishing scams was 2016-2017, phishing attempts grew 15 percent in the financial year 2018-2019 from the year before, when it fell. Research revealed that scam phone texts are not as popular, declining 50 percent between 2016-2017 and 2018-2019. Scam calls, on the other hand, grew at a dramatic pace, from 407 reports in 2016-2017 to 104,774 in 2018-2019.

A few years back, hackers didn’t even have to make an effort to infiltrate a network and access proprietary information or steal financial details, credentials or passwords. Taxpayers would simply hand over the information without much trouble yet, since 2016, users have stopped disclosing information. According to the report, the success rate is under 1 percent.

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