Warning On Tax Rebate Phishing Scams

Don’t get caught out by tax email phishing scams – protect your bank account and credit card details.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is warning taxpayers not to be caught out by email phishing scams which offer tax rebates in return for bank account or credit card details. Bogus HMRC emails have also recently been circulated to employers containing zip file attachments or hyperlinks. These should not be opened because they include a virus.

Rise in phishing emails

A record-breaking 8.48 million tax returns were filed online by last week’s 31 January filing deadline. However, the three months prior to the deadline also saw customers report 23,247 phishing emails to HMRC – up 47 per cent on the same period a year earlier. During 2013, customers reported over 91,000 phishing emails to HMRC.

Anyone responding to this type of email risks opening their bank account to fraudsters and having their details sold on to other organised criminal gangs.

If you are due a tax refund HMRC will only contact you by sending you a letter in the post. HMRC will never send notifications of a tax refund by email, or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email.

What action should I take?

HMRC strongly advises customers who receive such an email to: