19 February 2013

HMRC have issued a warning against getting caught out by phishing emails offering tax rebates.

There were almost 80,000 of these emails reported last year and HMRC are keen to warn tax payers that they are not genuine however realistic they at first appear to be.

During 2012 HMRC took action to close down 522 illegal sites, which showed these emails originated from a number of countries including the United States of America, Russia and Japan, as well as central and eastern Europe.

Gareth Lloyd, Head of Digital Security for HMRC said:

“HMRC does not email customers about tax refunds - we only ever contact customers who are genuinely due tax back in writing, by post.

“If anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate and claiming to be from HMRC, please send it to before deleting it permanently. HMRC does everything it can to ensure customers are safe online and we are working closely with other law enforcement agencies to target the criminals behind this serious crime.”

To help customers stay safe online, HMRC strongly advises customers to:

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 HMRC fraud attempts