There has been a surge in the number of phishing emails purporting to offer tax rebates since the 31st January tax return deadline, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is warning.
HMRC is warning tax payers to be vigilant if they receive an email that they are due a tax rebate following the tax return deadline at the end of January.
A large number of emails are being sent out by fraudsters that provides a click through link to a replica of the HMRC web site. The recipient is asked to provide their credit card details so that the criminals then try to take money from the account using the details provided.
HMRC never informs customers of a tax rebate via email.
“As a matter of policy, HMRC will only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. If anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate claiming to be from HMRC, we recommend they send it to firstname.lastname@example.org before deleting it permanently.”, says Chris Hopson, Director of Customer Contact at HMRC.
If you have reason to believe that you have been the victim of an email scam, report the matter to your bank/card issuer as soon as possible. If in doubt, check with HMRC at www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/fraud-attempts.htm.
There is a list of email addresses that have been used for this phishing so if you have any doubts then visit that page on the HMRC website to make sure. Never click on any link in a suspicious email.
In the last three months, HMRC has shut down 99 websites that were responsible for sending out fake tax rebate emails.