Tax credits ‘phishing’ scam warning

HM Revenue and Customs urge members of the public to not be fooled by email scams in the run up to the tax credits renewal deadline.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging tax credit recipients not to be reeled in by a ‘phishing’ scam.

In the run-up to the tax credits renewal deadline on July 31 HMRC often sees an increase in fake or ‘phishing’ emails.

The phishing emails often promise a rebate and, if taxpayers click on the link, they are taken to a cloned replica of the HMRC website.

The recipient is asked to provide credit or debit card details or other information such as passwords.

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Fraudsters then try to take money from the account.

HMRC say that during last year’s tax credits renewals periods, from April to July, there were nearly 94,000 phishing emails reported.

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Steve Lamey, HMRC Director General for Benefits and Credits, said: “We 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.

“Anyone in the South West who receives an email claiming to be from HMRC should send it to before deleting it permanently.”

HMRC works with other law enforcement agencies in the UK and overseas to investigate and shut down phishing scams. Scam networks have been closed in a number of countries, including Austria, Mexico, the UK, South Korea, the USA, Thailand and Japan.

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