HMRC has issued a warning to taxpayers about email scams sent by fraudsters. In 2012 taxpayers reported almost 80,000 tax rebate phishing scams.
The emails promise a tax rebate in exchange for personal, credit card or banking details. Anyone who responds can leave themselves open to fraud, with their details being sold on to criminal gangs. These emails often link to a clone of the HMRC website thus tricking customer into handing over their details. HMRC are keen to emphasise that they never send emails about genuine tax rebates.
In 2012 HMRC took action and closed down a total of 522 illegal sites which were based in various countries including USA, Russia and Japan.
If anyone receives an email claiming to be from HMRC then they should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org before permanently deleting it.
HMRC have also advised customers to:
- Check the advice published at hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm
- Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com then delete them immediately
- Do not clink on websites or links contained in any suspicious emails or open any attachments
- Follow advice from www.getsafeonline.org
- Anyone who has answered one of these emails should forward the email and disclosed details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, there is an easy way to ensure that you don't fall foul of the latest phishing scams. Read my article 'The easy way to avoid email phishing scams'.
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