Sham tax credit emails
HMRC is warning of new fraudulent emails being sent to taxpayers. The emails take advantage of the upcoming 31 July 2014 deadline for submitting tax credits renewal information. The fraudulent emails inform recipients that they are due a tax rebate, and provides a click-through link to a replicaof the HMRC website.
These are not genuine HMRC messages and should be disregarded. It is a ‘phishing’ exercise that uses bogus e-mails and websites to trick taxpayers into supplying confidential or personal information. The ‘phishing’ emails are being sent from inside the UK and around the world. The emails often start with phrases which alert taxpayers to the fact that they are due a refund of tax.
During last year’s tax credits renewals period almost 25,000 phishing emails were reported to HMRC. Although HMRC worked with other agencies to shut down 611 scam websites during the tax credits renewal period last year, others continue to be created.
Nick Lodge, Director General of Benefits and Credits, HMRC, said:
‘HMRC will never ask people to disclose personal or payment information by email. We are committed to claimants’ online security but the methods fraudsters use to get information are constantly changing, so people need to be alert.’
Any of our readers who are unsure as to the authenticity of any email purporting to be from HMRC should avoid clicking on any links until satisfied that the email is legitimate.