Thieves pretending to be taxman, Dorset
RESIDENTS in Dorset are being warned to be vigilant following reports thieves are making calls pretending to be the taxman
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said fraudsters inform taxpayers they are due a tax rebate, and ask for their bank card details over the phone – and then try to take money from the account.
The warning comes amid a recent surge in the number of tax scam “phishing” emails reported to HMRC. In the last three months, HMRC has shut down over 180 websites that were responsible for sending out the fake tax rebate emails.
Chris Hopson, Director of Customer Contact at HMRC said:
“We only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. We never use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances. We strongly urge anyone receiving such a phone call not to give any information to the caller, but report it to the police straightaway. “
In the last 18 months, scam networks have been shut down in a number of countries, including Austria, Mexico, the UK, South Korea, the USA, Thailand and Japan.
HMRC strongly advises customers to:
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• Check the advice published at www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm to see if the email you have received is listed
• Forward suspicious emails to HMRC at firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it from your computer/mail account
• Do not click on websites, links contained in suspicious emails or open attachments
• Follow advice from www.getsafeonline.co.uk
If you have reason to believe that you have been the victim of an email 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