Protect Yourself Against Tax Rebate Scams

With the end of the financial year looming, fraudsters, phishers and con artists are once again hard at work trying to take your money!

HMRC has warned particularly against thousands of email scams, set up to take advantage of this busy time of year when HMRC is likely to be communicating with many people.

The emails are set up to look identical to the HMRC website, using the same language, font, graphics, colours, layout and logo as those found on the HMRC website. In many instances you will be addressed by name, and told that calculations have been made and that you are due a tax refund. The amounts are always believable amounts, for instance £250 or £122, so as not to cause any suspicion.

In most cases, you will be asked for your banking details, supposedly so that the refund can be deposited directly into your bank account. Very often, once you have given your details, you will be asked to click on a button which will take you directly to the real HMRC website “where you can find more information about tax refunds”, leaving you trusting that all is well.

But please be warned – if you give your bank details out in this manner, your account is likely to be cleared out! Even if you don’t have much in there at the time, your information will be stored and used at a later date or sold to other fraudsters.

HMRC has once again been very clear in insisting that they will never contact a taxpayer by email, nor will they ever request bank details via the internet. Taxpayers who are due a refund will never be told via email or telephone or via an external company – this information will only ever be sent via post.

Should you receive an email from HMRC about a tax refund, please don’t open it; rather forward the email to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and warn your friends that the email is doing the rounds.

For any advice or assistance with your tax rebate, please visit www.1stcontact-taxrefunds.com or call 0808 141 5501.

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