HMRC has warned against phishing emails offering taxpayers rebates.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

HMRC has warned taxpayers about phishing scams offering them tax rebates.

Most of the emails attempt to trap their victims by telling them that they are owed a substantial rebate from the taxman, followed by a link for users to click to enter their bank or personal details. Often the link is to a clone of the HMRC website - though it looks genuine, taxpayers risk opening up their accounts to fraud.

Taxpayers, including self-assessors, reported 80,000 suspicious emails last year, HMRC claimed, which led it to take action to close 552 illegal sites. Russia, Japan, the US and central and eastern Europe were among the numerous countries from which the sites were found to originate.

Head of digital security Gareth Lloyd said that HMRC will never contact anyone who is owed a tax rebate by email. Instead, they will be informed in writing through the post.

Anyone receiving phishing emails is advised to report it via phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, before permanently deleting the suspect message.


By Victoria McDonnell

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