Cybercriminals are targeting as many as 50,000 taxpayers every single day with scam emails purporting to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), according to reports.
The figures were revealed earlier today, as the Government announced plans to enforce a £1.9billion five-year plan to fight cybercrime, which officials have suggested will make Britain’s online infrastructure one of the safest in the world.
According to reports, an increasing number of Britons are receiving bogus emails with false HMRC branding, requesting personal details from taxpayers and claiming that they are due a fictitious rebate, or must pay a penalty.
Many have fallen victim to the ubiquitous scam, which peaked in September, and Government officials have now voiced fears that the so-called digital revolution has left the UK ‘increasingly vulnerable’ to cyber-attacks and online fraud.
Earlier this year, the National Audit Office (NAO) warned that HMRC’s move to ‘an all-digital tax system’ would almost certainly increase cybercrime among taxpayers and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
Speaking today, Chancellor Philip Hammond, said: “Our new strategy… will allow us to take even greater steps to defend ourselves in cyberspace and to strike back when we are attacked”.
He added that Britain had a duty to “keep up with the scale and pace of the threats we face”.