How does the scam work?
Information reported to Action Fraud suggests that the fraudsters operating these companies have managed to infiltrate NHS practices and hospitals as part of training/open days and in lunchtime meeting sessions for staff.
They also advertise their services to staff members and have been known to set up stands in the reception or restaurant areas.
The companies request the victim sign forms which give them permission to liaise with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on their behalf, stating their fee will be charged after the rebate is received.
HMRC have confirmed that they have issued refunds to the companies in relation to requests received and authorised by the staff member. Once the refund is obtained all contact with the companies are broken and the victim does not receive their rebate.
Not just NHS staff targeted
Tax rebate fraud does not only affect NHS staff but can also affect Police Officers, airline staff and teachers. However this list of professions is not exclusive and anyone can be targeted.
How to protect yourself
- Do research online to ensure the company is reputable by checking the registration details are correct and by viewing feedback online.
- Do not feel pressured to sign documentation without doing some basic checks.
- Do not respond to unsolicited emails, texts or calls offering rebate services.
- Make sure that you are aware and agree to the commission that will be paid to a rebate company prior to signing any documents.
Report fraud and cyber crime to Action Fraud and receive a police crime reference number.