Tax Rebates & Refunds

Taxpayers at risk from new tax rebate phishing scam

December 22, 2012
Posted in Fraud, Tax Rebates — Written by Jennifer

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been forced to issue yet another warning about phishing scams in anticipation of the January self-assessment tax deadline, which is the time of year when fraudsters typically send out emails attempting to trick people into thinking they are owed tax rebates.

The department warns that the scam emails are surprisingly sophisticated and may easily fool some people. They purport to come from HMRC itself, bearing the email address tax.refund@hmrc.gov.uk and offering generous and very specific tax refund amounts.

The main danger with these emails is that they usually contain a link through to a site which asks for the recipient’s bank details, supposedly so that the tax rebate can be paid. Needless to say, no refunds are paid but the fraudsters gain access to unsuspecting taxpayers’ bank accounts.

The official statement from HMRC on the issue was as follows:

“We never send notifications of a tax rebate by email or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email. To be safe, do not select links in the emails and simply forward them to us at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting the original.’

“While we don’t have the authority to investigate the people behind these scams, as they are often run from countries across the world, HMRC works with other law enforcement agencies in the UK and overseas to investigate and shut down phishing attacks.”

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