HMRC warn of fraudulent emails

Posted: 10th January 2012

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have issued a warning to taxpayers to be on their guard against fraudulent emails as the self-assessment deadline of 31 January approaches.
The typical ‘phishing’ email advises that the recipient is due a tax rebate and provides a link to a website very similar to HMRC’s own. The recipient is asked to provide their credit card or bank details. Fraudsters then try to extract money from the account using the details provided. Victims of the scam risk having their bank accounts emptied and their personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs.
Tax form
Joan Wood, Director of HMRC Online and Digital said, “We only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. We currently 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 phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently."
“HMRC will do everything possible to ensure those people receiving this email know what steps to take to protect their information. We are working closely with other law enforcement agencies to target the criminals behind this serious crime and see them brought to justice.”
Legitimate tax rebate forms (P800s) from HMRC will contain a payment order and will never ask for credit or debit card details.
In the last three months, HMRC have helped shut down 185 websites that were responsible for sending out fake tax rebate emails.