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Phishing warning in run-up to tax credits deadline

13th July 2010

Anyone who needs to file a tax credits renewal with HMRC or pay the second instalment of their income tax is being warned about phishing emails.

According to Trusteer, tax credit filers may be sent unsolicited emails that look like they have been sent by HMRC. Some bogus HMRC emails tell people they are owed a tax rebate, but this is also fraudsters at work. If victims click on these emails, they may infect their computers with malware and have their personal details stolen.

Those who click on a link in fraudulent emails such as these could find themselves on a bogus HMRC landing page that asks them to enter their bank details. Instead of crediting the victim’s bank account with money, the fraudsters will instead use the bank details to make a series of withdrawals.

Bogus HMRC email advice – protect yourself

  • HMRC will never inform you that you are owed a tax rebate by email. Never open these emails or click on the link contained in them.
  • Phishing attacks using the HMRC name are known to occur throughout the year, but deadlines such as the end of July tax credits filing tends to cause a surge in these fraudulent emails.
  • Be wary of clicking on links in emails. If you are unsure whether or not an email is genuine, type in the legitimate website address of the institution you want to access directly into the address bar.
  • Before submitting any log-in information, check the website address starts with ‘https’ and a padlock appears in the web browser, which confirms the connection is secure.

For more information about phishing scams using the HMRC name, visit Trusteer’s website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

See also:
Bank-related frauds