HMRC: Don’t be fooled by tax fraudsters

A CALL from the taxman is already one that many people dread – but HMRC is warning that fraudsters could make it the most expensive call you’ll ever take.

A CALL from the taxman is already one that many people dread – but HMRC is warning that fraudsters could make it the most expensive call you’ll ever take.

HMRC has told Huntingdonshire taxpayers to be vigilant following reports that thieves are making phone calls posing as the taxman.

The scam involves telling the taxpayer that they are due a rebate, and asking for their bank card details to transfer the money. Once the details have been obtained, the thieves attempt to take money from the account. Victims risk having their bank accounts emptied and their personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs.

HMRC has seen a recent surge in the number of “phishing” scams being reported, and in the last three months has shut down more than 180 websites responsible for sending out fake tax rebate emails.


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Chris Hopson, director of customer contact at HMRC said: “We only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. We never use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances. We strongly urge anyone receiving such a phone call not to give any information to the caller, but report it to the police straightaway.

“If customers receive an email claiming to be from HMRC, we recommend they send it to us for investigation before deleting it permanently.”

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HMRC gives customers the following advice:

• Check the advice published at www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm to see if the email you have received is listed

• Forward suspicious emails to HMRC at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete it from your computer/mail account

• Do not click on websites, links contained in suspicious emails or open attachments

• Follow advice from www.getsafeonline.co.uk

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

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