HMRC warns over tax rebate scam

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has issued a new scam warning after a fresh wave of rogue tax refund emails has been unleashed following self-assessment deadline day.
Over the last three months alone, HMRC has shut down 99 websites involved in fake tax rebate emails. Over the last 18 months, scam networks have been shut down in Austria, Mexico, the UK, South Korea, the USA, Thailand and Japan. Despite these enforcement actions – and the ease of avoiding becoming a victim – the scam continues.
The emails claim the recipients are entitled to a tax refund, which can supposedly be claimed after handing over credit card and other banking details to a linked website.
In reality, the replica site is designed simply to con consumers into handing over their credentials to fraudsters. Victims who fall for the scam risk finding their bank accounts emptied and their personal information sold to card crooks.
Government officials say that legitimate tax refund applications are always processed by post rather than by email.
Chris Hopson, director of customer contact at HMRC, commented: “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 phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently.”

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