Tax Rebates & Refunds

HMRC sends out serious warning over tax rebate phishing scam

February 26, 2013
Posted in Fraud, Tax Rebates — Written by Geoffrey

Local councils frequently issue warnings to their citizens warning them to be wary of cold callers and spam emails offering tax rebates. This time, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) itself has sent out a warning over phishing email scams, in the hope that taxpayers will take the department’s advice seriously.

According to HMRC’s data, nearly 80,000 phishing emails were reported in 2012. Phishing email scams are when a sender attempts to attain financial details, passwords and personal information by posing as a trustworthy company or organisation.

In most of the emails reported last year, the sender states that HMRC has looked at the recipient’s tax return and has worked out they are due for a tax rebate. The emails then ask for personal details in order for the refund to be paid.

HMRC has taken many steps to warn people of the dangers of these scam emails, even publishing examples of fake but very realistic looking emails on its websites. It is also closing down websites which send the emails, as well as sending out warnings around the time that tax returns are due.

If you have received such an email, remember that HMRC never sends out tax rebate details by email. You should ignore and report the email, and contact HMRC immediately if you’ve accidentally replied.

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