HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is warning taxpayers to be vigilant following reports that thieves are making phone calls pretending to be the taxman.
The fraudsters tell taxpayers they are due a tax rebate and ask for bank card details over the phone. They then attempt to take money from the account using the details provided, with victims also running the risk that their personal details will be sold to other organised criminal gangs.
HMRC director of customer contact Chris Hopson 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.”
HMRC strongly advises customers 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 delete it from their computer/mail account
- Do not click on websites, links contained in suspicious emails or open attachments and follow advice from www.getsafeonline.co.uk
- If they believe they have been the victim of an email scam, report the matter to their bank/card issuer as soon as possible. If in doubt, please check with HMRC at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/fraud-attempts.htm