Bogus emails promising tax rebates from HMRC

13 January 2016

With the self-assessment deadline approaching, please be vigilant as once again tax phishing emails purporting to be from HMRC are on the rise.

Some scams are more sophisticated than others but there are often simple signs giving scammers away. Bad grammar and incorrect spelling are very common and also the lack of a name within the email. You will often see 'Dear Applicant' or 'Dear Customer', so although the scammers have your email address, they have a lack of personal detail which is what they will ask for if you click on any links within the mail.

A reminder that HMRC:

  • will never send notifications of a tax rebate by email; and
  • will never ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email.

A genuine HMRC email won’t ask for passwords, credit card details or bank account details but an identity thief certainly will.

If you have the slightest doubt don’t open attachments, there could be viruses contained in them. Do not click on links which could take you to bogus websites with bogus webpages designed to look like the homepage of HMRC. These sites have one aim, and that is to trick you into disclosing personal/ confidential information.

Fraudsters want you to act immediately. Be wary of emails containing phrases like ‘you only have 3 days to reply’ or ‘urgent action required’.

If you are unsure or something just doesn’t feel right, take that moment and follow HMRC’s guidance.

If you think you might have disclosed personal information in response to a bogus email, act quickly and provide HMRC with details of what’s happened, what’s been disclosed and send it to [email protected].

It’s the responsibility of us all to remain vigilant, working together we will beat the scammers. HMRC security teams would like to see any scams that you come across so they can look to address the issue, so please let them know at [email protected].