HMRC Warns of Fraudulent E mails
Updated: Mar 10, 2021
The Inland Revenue has warned that a number of individuals have been caught out by so-called “phishing” e mails, purporting to come from HMRC and which suggest that the recipient is entitled to a tax refund. The taxpayer is directed to a website which appears to be the official site of HM Revenue and Customs, but which is actually fraudulent. In order to obtain the supposed tax refund the individual is asked to input personal details including National Insurance Number, bank account and card details. They are also often asked personal questions such as their mother’s maiden name, supposedly for security reasons. Once the information has been handed over it is sold on by the fraudsters to organised criminal gangs who use it either to directly pilfer from the individual’s bank account, or for the purposes of creating a fraudulent identity.
HMRC has noted that these frauds escalate around this time of year when individuals have been busy completing their self-assessment tax returns. They have indicated that they never contact those due tax refunds by email, always using the postal service. They also never ask for bank details in this connection.
Anyone who receives such an email is asked to contact HMRC before deleting the offending email from their computer system permanently.