It can’t be just me who keeps getting the same piece of spam – the Notice Of Underreported Income – its arrival seems to be expanding exponentially, as if perhaps the more times an obviously fake email arrives from HM Customs & Excise requiring to me to click on a link the more likely I am to cave in and click on it like a prize twat. Hey, I understand spam, and have written at length about it before, but this one is curious. I’ve had it 125 times since October 7, that’s 37 times yesterday, and 22 times today since midnight (compared with nine times on October 7, before they really worked out the strategy of overegging the unscrupulous-bastard pudding). It’s interesting that the same email started out being addressed from the Internal Revenue Service, then, two days ago, it switched the more UK-friendly HM Customs & Excise. I find spam and the logic behind it fascinating. The stuff that comes through in Chinese or pidgin English is easy enough to dismiss, as are the Nigerian scams, the knock-off designer watches, the lottery-win notifications and the ones promising that if I “enlarge” my “device” women will “jump in my bed.” But these punts disguised as official notification from banks and building societies are more carefully built – and in this case, apparently adjusted to suit the nationality of the recipient. (Did someone pass on the information to the evil nerds in a pizza-box-strewn shed in Iowa who send this shit out that it’s not the Internal Revenue in the UK? And if so, why doesn’t this person work for Dan Brown and help him out with his poor grasp of British culture?) I particularly like the fact that it has extrapolated what it thinks is my name (the prefix “happy” from this website’s email address, the one that attracts all the spam and has no filter) and added that word to the fake “Taxpayer ID”. It would be nice if such codes in real life had the word “happy” in them.

Sorry not to blog about anything more interesting, but I am going through one of those fraught periods where I have panicked and taken on way too much work which simply cannot be squeezed into the waking days I have available to me. Better get back to it. If only, I don’t know, some of my income had been underreported by the Internal Revenue. I can but dream.

17 thoughts on “Taxing

  1. I also get this one on a regular basis, though luckily my spam filter catches it on most occassions.Wow, and the prize for "Dullest blog comment ever…" goes to… me

  2. I work in tax, and had a client ring me up on Monday because he was fooled by this and he clicked the link. I couldn't quite believe it, but it seems that a morbid fear of HMRC can make even the most intelligent turn into a quivering wreck as soon as they see the initials. Rather like driving with a police car in your rear view mirror.

  3. i use gmail as a spamfilter.two email addresses and a gmail email accountpublish / sign up for stuff with email address 1this auto-forwards to gmail (and deletes itself)gmail cleans and forwards good email to email address 2you collect from email address 2hey presto no more spam on your computer

  4. Mr Collins, I believe a lot of freelance or self-employed types like myself read this blog and I'd appreciate if you would refrain from using the 't' word as it really gives me the willies. I've got at least three unopened letters from the bastards and your mentioning it on this ere blog does nothing towards helping me forget about them. Please try to be a little more considerate in future. I thank you.

  5. I got a particularly devious bit of spam this week, from people pretending to be from one of the companies featured in the BBC's popular (ahem) weekday morning show "Heir Hunters". I could see plenty of people falling for it. Wanted to report it to the Beeb somehow but couldn't seem to find a spam@bbc or abuse@bbc email address

  6. I had it 18 times yesterday alone. That and spurious ones from banks I don't bank with, and one offering me a job on a North Sea oil rig. I was tempted. I wonder what could be next?

  7. I've had several of these as well, but two weeks ago I got a (genuine) four hundred quid tax rebate, so I like to think of it as my Lucky Spam. Maybe I should investigate one of those penis enlargement offers, it might be really interesting.

  8. I daresay the logical time for The Rev to start querying on-line returns made at least nine months ago is, ooh, October. I should imagine things are usually pretty quiet around then.Hey unemployment is now the highest it's been for fourteen years. It hasn't been this bad since the dark days of 1995, when, erm, we weren't even in a recession. I guess the natural response to this kind of mess would be to elect a Tory Government.

  9. I had one from someone disguised as Paypal last week. He was asking me to cough up 15 quid for that cutlery set that I didn't order. I think that's just too niche a product to deliver results. I felt like Duncan Bannatyne as I shot down his business and closed the email.

  10. As it's obviously a slow blog week for AC, could I interest people in the following site have no affiliations, but based on the comments by AC and others when Tony Hart sadly passed away this year.This is an 'official' site as it were and will give those of us of a certain age a warm glow.Andrew, I hope you don't mind me posting this website up on your blog (well I guess if this doesn't get posted you do mind! 😉 ).Have a good weekend everyone!

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