Record number of scams offering fake tax refunds

A RECORD 83,000 scam emails offering fake tax refunds were reported to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in September.

A RECORD 83,000 scam emails offering fake tax refunds were reported to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in September. The online attacks, known as 'phishing', have continued this month, with an unprecedented 10,000 reports of the fraud made to HMRC on one day alone.

The scam email tells the recipient they are due a tax refund and then asks for bank account or credit card details. Anyone who gives these details to the fraudsters risks their bank accounts being emptied and credit cards maxed to their limit. The victim also risks having their personal details sold on to other criminal gangs. The latest version of this scam originates from various different websites, which operate for 20 minutes before changing their domain name.

John Harrison, Head of HMRC Customer Contact Online, said: "We only contact customers who are due a refund in writing by post. We never use emails, telephone calls or external companies in these circumstances. I would strongly encourage anyone receiving such an email not to open it, send it to us for investigation at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete it from their computer.


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