Phishing campaigns have appeared following the chancellor's pre-budget announcement.


Sophos has discovered a phishing campaign that seeks to capitalise on the news announced by Alistair Darling in relation to tax cuts. Claiming to come from the 'UK Government & Ministry of Finance', it offers to return tax to ‘every man aged between 30 and 55 years'.


Unsuspecting users who wish to take advantage of the offer of £450-650 for 'family maintenance' are directed to a webpage that asks for information, such as age, marital status and number of children, which could be used by fraudsters. It further claims that to receive the payout, the recipient needs to ‘be married and have a job' and ‘those who have children will be given an additional £200.'


Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “At a time when many people will be uncertain about their finances and job security, cybercriminals have clearly been quick to take advantage of the situation. As the Government is expected to make announcements relating to recession-busting tax cuts, those eager for the bigger picture should monitor official channels and ignore any unsolicited emails asking for personal details.


“This campaign, coming in the run-up to Christmas, also takes advantage of the trend for special-offers and vouchers to be circulated via email - computer users should do their best to stay mindful of the risks.”