'Tis the season for internet scammers
Fake emails are a favourite device used by thieves to deceive members of the public into handing over personal information.
The Danish tax authority, Skat, is regularly impersonated by fraudsters. In one recent scam, fraudsters posing as Skat are sending out emails that state that the recipients have a windfall awaiting them and that they have to fill out a form with their credit card details in order to receive the money. This popular type of scam is known as 'phishing'.
Skat warns, however, that they would never ask for this information.
“Skat would never ask you for your credit card details,” the tax authority states on its website, adding that Skat deposits money straight into taxpayers' bank accounts without having to first provide sensitive information.
“If you receive an email that looks like it is from Skat that asks this, then it is a fake email. You should delete the email without clicking the links.”
But after one of these scam emails arrived in a Copenhagen Post staff member's inbox, we decided to ignore Skat's advice and see if we could identify the sender.
The initial email stated that the recipient was owed 1,134.56 kroner which could be reimbursed by filling out a form by following a link.
The link took us to this page, below, that while resembling Skat closely, was hosted on another website, http://www.fannansatiraq.com/.
The Copenhagen Post was able to locate and contact the website's owner, who resides in Magdeburg, Germany.
The man denied any knowledge of the scam site which, according to IT experts contacted by The Copenhagen Post, was quite normal as scammers routinely operate through hacked websites to do their work.
All the information gathered by The Copenhagen Post has been handed over to the police. And while we will leave it to them to get to the bottom of this particular scam, it serves as a good reminder for all of us to be careful, and that if something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.