Tax refund scams
James Forsyth - February 1st, 2018
After the 2017 Tax Return deadline yesterday we have had a few clients been in touch with us regarding “phishing” emails from HMRC informing them of a potential refund they are due to supposedly receive. We are also aware of scam text messages being sent to mobiles informing the receiver of such refunds. All the recipient has to do is enter their bank information in to receive it.
HMRC is working very hard to shut down scam websites however these websites continue to be created on a daily basis.
A phishing email is an email sent by someone disguising their identity as a trustworthy source with the intention of obtaining sensitive information, for example bank information and passwords. These emails may also contain clickable links which are infected with viruses.
Below is what some of the phishing emails look like.
If you do receive an email that you are suspicious of you should forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not click any links, open any attachments or respond to the original email before forwarding the suspicious email onto the above email address. You can also contact us and ask us to confirm whether anything you receive from HMRC is fake or genuine.
Scammers have also begun sending out text messages to individuals, they may come through to the senders phone as something like ‘HMRC’ which gives a false validity. If you receive one of these texts HMRC advises to forward it to the following number 60599 (charges may apply). You should never click the link or respond to the message.
HMRC state that they will never contact anyone and ask them to hand over personal details or payment information by email or text.
In the unfortunate case that you have already handed over personal information on one of these emails/text messages you need to contact email@example.com, and include details of what you disclosed to the scammer, e.g. name, address, UTR, password, amount etc.
If you would like more information regarding “phishing” emails then please visit HMRC website on https://www.gov.uk/topic/dealing-with-hmrc/phishing-scams