It wasn't that long ago - March 23 - when BusinessMan reported that HMRC was warning taxpayers about phishing emails being sent out by fraudsters. Well HMRC is again alerting taxpayers to be on their guard against more of the same.
This time the email informs the recipient they are due a tax rebate, and provides a click-through link to a cloned replica of the HMRC website. The recipient is asked to provide their credit or debit card details. Fraudsters then try to take money from the account using the details provided.
Since the beginning of April, more than 46,000 phishing emails have been reported by customers. During the same period of time HMRC helped shut down more than 150 scam websites.
HMRC say that they only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. They don't use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances.
HMRC strongly advises taxpayers to check the advice published at www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm to see if the email received is listed; forward suspicious emails to HMRC at firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it; not to click on websites, links contained in suspicious emails or open attachments; and follow advice from www.getsafeonline.co.uk.
This was first published in July 2011