Tuesday 23 April 2019

Motorists warned of fraudulent tax emails targeting bank details

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

People paying motor tax online have been warned to be on their guard for fraudsters trying to get their banking details.

People who renew their motor tax are getting emails immediately afterwards claiming there was a problem.

In the email, which looks authentic, they are then asked to confirm the details about their car and provide their billing details.

One person targeted explained to Independent.ie: “It looks like the Motor Tax office got hacked. I renewed my motor insurance this morning and got a request for my billing details and car owner information. It is a pretty good scam.”

The email claims the payment for motor tax did not go through. The recipient is asked to confirm the vehicle registration number and owner information.

There is a link to a website provided which, at first glance, looks like the motortax.ie site.

The opening page of the motortax.ie website has a warning about an email scam.

It states: “This Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have become aware of fraudulent emails purporting to come from the department seeking vehicle details and billing information from vehicle owners in connection with their last motor tax transaction.”

The message goes on to state that the department never send emails requiring customers to send personal information via email or pop-up windows.

Drivers who receive an email purporting to be from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and suspect it to be fraudulent or a scam, are advised to delete it.

“Anyone who provided personal information in response to these fraudulent emails should contact their bank or credit card company immediately,” the transport department added.

The Motor Tax Online website claims to be a secure service provided by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Ireland’s local authorities. 

A spokesman for the Department denied the site had been hacked, suggesting the scammers were sending random emails.

The spokesman added: “If an email does get someone due or just paid, it’s getting lucky. It is not directed/targeted at people who are paying motor tax. We haven’t been hacked.”

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