Opinion

Doing the taxation Scam Scam

Scammers just don't give up. Whether it's Nigerian 419ers or good old phishing attacks we need to have our guard up.

Yet again HMRC is warning taxpayers to be vigilant following a surge of fake 'phishing' emails sent out by fraudsters following the 31 January Self Assessment tax return filing deadline.

The email informs the recipient they are due a tax rebate, and provides a click-through link to a replica of the HMRC website. The recipient is asked to provide their credit card details.

Fraudsters then try to take money from the account using the details provided. Victims risk having their bank accounts emptied and their personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs.

In the last three months, HMRC has shut down 99 websites that were responsible for sending out the fake tax rebate emails.

HMRC are saying that if anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate claiming to be from HMRC, send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete it permanently.

If you have reason to believe that you have been the victim of an email scam, report the matter to your bank/card issuer as soon as possible. If in doubt, please check with HMRC at www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/fraud-attempts.htm.

This was first published in March 2011

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