HMRC fake tax refund warning
Individuals are warned to be on the lookout for fake tax refund emails, after a reported 70% increase in the past six months.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) says it has received reports of almost 75,000 fraudulent “phishing” emails between April and September.
The fake emails often promise a tax refund, and ask for the recipient’s personal details, including their name, address, date of birth, bank and credit card details – including passwords and their mother’s maiden name.
However once this information is provided there is no tax refund, and unfortunately money is stolen from the victim’s bank account and their details are sold on to other criminal gangs, which can lead to identity theft.
HMRC will never contact taxpayers about tax refunds through emails, and always through the post.
Anybody who receives such an email is being advised to forward it to HMRC at firstname.lastname@example.org, and then delete it.
HMRC says it is working closely to tackle the problem and has worked closely with other law enforcement agencies to close down more than 4,000 websites responsible for sending out the emails in the last six months.
Author: Alan Taylor FCCA
A former pupil at Ripley St Thomas C of E High School, Lancaster, Alan joined Scott & Wilkinson direct from school in 1994 and qualified as an Accountant in 2001. As practice manager, Alan is responsible for the day-to-day...
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