The Costa Blanca News recently warned its readers about scam emails and now the British Embassy in Madrid is echoing that warning.
The original scam email that the newspaper unveiled said it was from HM Customs and Revenue requesting bank details in order to pay a tax rebate. And now a further email doing the rounds supposedly comes from the Spanish tax office (Agencia Tributaria AEAT). Neither are of course genuine. The third type of scam are emails asking for urgent funds to be sent to help friends or families in distress.
Unfortunately, these email scams are becoming common place and are largely targeted at ex-pats.
The advice provided by banks is never to give your banking details via email. Since neither HMRC nor AEAT have my email address, it would be extraordinary for them to contact me and I know my bank will never contact me in this way.
However, I was asked recently to send a copy of my credit card by email. Since the company only needed the last four digits to confirm the details I had given them via their secure site, I carefully erased the other numbers so they were totally illegible. If I hadn’t the software on my computer to do this, I would have covered them with a piece of paper.
Sadly, there are some very unscrupulous people out there determined to try and con us out of our money by any means at their disposal. It is up to us to make sure they do not succeed by applying common sense when using the Internet.