Don’t be conned by by fake tax e-mails

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is alerting taxpayers in Milngavie and Bearsden about a surge of fake ‘phishing’ e-mails sent out by fraudsters in the run-up to the tax credits renewal deadline.

The e-mail informs the recipient they are due a tax rebate, and provides a click-through link to a cloned replica of the HMRC website.

Those targeted are asked to provide their credit or debit card details and fraudsters then try to take money from the account using information 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. During the same period of time HMRC helped shut down more than 150 scam websites.

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, e-mails or external companies in these circumstances. If anyone receives an email claiming to be from HMRC, please send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently.”

If you think you’ve been the victim of an e-mail scam, report the matter to your bank/card issuer as soon as possible. If in doubt please check with HMRC at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/fraud-attempts.htm