HM Revenue and Customs has confirmed that reports of fraudulent scam emails have risen by 300% over the last year.
It is essential that anyone receiving an email claiming to be from HMRC telling the taxpayer that they are due a tax repayment does not follow the email’s instructions. The emails provide a “click-through link” to a cloned replica of the HMRC website.
The recipient is then asked to provide their credit or debit card details. Providing the information asked for enables criminals to steal the account.
Victims risk not only having their bank accounts emptied but also their personal details being sold on to other organised criminal gangs.
Almost 24,000 such emails were reported to HMRC in August alone – an increase of nearly 300 per cent compared to the same month last year.
HMRC is currently helping to shut down around 100 scam websites a month.
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."
Read more about the scam on the HMRC website
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