By Chris King • 14 January 2023 • 0:00
Image of a person working on a laptop.
The Internet User Security Office (OSI) warned today, Friday, January 13, of a campaign of fraudulent emails that are circulating which impersonate the Social Security Electronic Office. The scam has the usual heading of ‘Last notice tax settlement’.
In the main text of the email, it informs the recipient that there is a non-payment of tax assessments on their part. The sender then guides the reader to a link where they are told they can download a report generated by the Immediate Supply of Information (SII). When this link is clicked, it purportedly directs the victim to a website where a file can be downloaded.
These scam emails can be identified by the following characteristics:
• Misspellings, formatting errors and bad wording of the message and subject.
• The sender’s email is not official and may have endings like ‘br’ (eg: belonging to Brazil) instead of the official ‘es’ that the email should end with.
Clicking on the ‘Download report’ link downloads a compressed .zip file, called ‘TaxpayerXXXXXXXX.zip’ (XXXXXX are a sequence of numbers that can vary). Upon executing the file, the user’s device will automatically be infected with a Trojan that could carry out various fraudulent processes.
The OSI indicates that: “if you have received the email, clicked on the link and executed the file that is downloaded, it is possible that your device has been infected”. The entity recommends the following steps:
• Disconnect the affected device from the internet.
• Run the antivirus available on the device to perform a full scan and disinfection.
• If the infection hasn’t cleared up, consider resetting the device to factory settings.
• In case of doubt, consult directly with the company or service involved or with trusted third parties, such as the State Security Forces and Corps (FCSE) and the Internet User Security Office (OSI) of INCIBE, as reported by 20minutos.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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