#HMRC warns of new surge in fraudulent emails
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has advised taxpayers to be on the alert for a wave of scam emails ahead of the final date for renewing tax credits.
The emails inform recipients that they are due a tax rebate and provides a click-through link to a cloned replica of the HMRC website.
Recipients are asked to provide their credit or debit card details. The fraudsters then try to take money from the account using the details provided. Victims risk having their bank accounts emptied and their personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs.
Since the beginning of April, when the first tax credits renewals forms were sent out to claimants, more than 46,000 phishing emails have been reported by customers.
Joan Wood, director of HMRC online and digital, said: “We currently only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. We don’t use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances. If anyone receives an email claiming to be from HMRC, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org before deleting it permanently.”
Taxpayers are advised to check the advice published at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm to see if any suspicious email as been listed there.
People should not click on websites, links contained in suspicious emails or open attachments.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of an email scam must report the matter to their bank/card issuer as soon as possible.
If in doubt, they can check with HMRC at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/fraud-attempts.htm