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28/04/2021: Microsoft takes over UK Government? Shock! Horror!

Sometimes you just have to laugh at the phishing attempts that come through. Here is one such example: This one originated in Thailand as that is where the action link leads. In the first half, they purport to be contacting the recipient from a UK government office to warn that the National Insurance Number has been de-activated owing to 'fraudulent activity'.

The second half seems to have been copied and pasted from a recent Microsoft Terms and Conditions change notification email. Some of the instances of Microsoft have been changed to GOV.UK, while others haven't. Does this mean there has been a secret buy-out deal and that Microsoft now owns the British Government?

Best of all, the Microsoft mailshot offers the chance to opt out of using their services if you don't like the terms and conditions. Perhaps our beloved government could learn something from that?

Either way, much as this brought a chuckle, the message is still to treat anything and everything with suspicion. There have been many instances lately of recorded phone messages purporting to be from HMRC or 'your internet provider' implying that there has been illegal activity in 'your' account and that you must press one to sort it out. Doubtless, pressing one will connect you to a ridiculously costly premium rate line in an attempt to empty your bank account through your phone bill.

It's easy to be complacent, but these efforts are aimed at people who are too busy to exercise the highest levels of caution at all times. As if to prove that nobody is immune, no matter how many of these things they see, very recently I got hoodwinked out of £1100 through a 'help a friend' scam on Facebook. Luckily, I had used Paypal and they recovered it all for me, but I was very lucky not to have got scammed through being too busy, too late at night to have 100% of my wits about me. We are all at risk!

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