HMRC-virusAn unscheduled post, but one we feel we need to put out. It has come to light that there are bogus emails which are styled like or claiming to be from HMRC. It seems that on the back of the recent legitimate schemes being used by HM Revenue & Customs there has been an as yet unidentified group seeking to take advantage.

The emails which have been reported are commonly said to be requesting user information in regard to VAT returns, instead the information is used maliciously and the user engaging in the fraudulent email is subjected to a computer virus, known as ZBOT which is a well known data stealing virus.

The emails are said to contain the following:

“Thank you for sending your VAT Return online. The submission for reference 7809740 was successfully received on Wed, 24 July 2013 08:38:54 +0100 and is being processed. Make VAT Returns is just one of the many online services we offer that can save you time and paperwork,”

There is an attached file on the emails which most commonly has the word VAT in it’s title such as:, but is a zip archive file that Trend Micro have confirmed to contain the virus identifier TSPY_FAREIT.ADI

The virus actively searches the infected computer to collect data from emails and browsers, especially dangerous as it has the ability to look for on-line banking data.

If you have had any reason to receive an email from HMRC where perhaps you wouldn’t usually, It is advised to be extra cautious. You should always ensure that computers with data that is considered to be secure are guarded by an adequate anti-virus program.

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