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Email fraudsters target self-assessment refunds

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1st Feb 2010
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HMRC has issued a warning to taxpayers about fake emails promising tax repayments which are being sent by fraudsters following the 31 January deadline.

The self-assessment deadline may have passed but taxpayers are still being targeted by cyber criminals posing as HMRC offering tax refunds.

Fraudsters are sending out thousands of phishing emails in a bid to exploit taxpayers waiting to hear to about genuine tax refunds.

The email tells the recipient they are due a tax refund and directs them to an online form to provide bank or credit card details for the 'rebate' to be paid into. Anyone providing their details would have their accounts emptied and credit cards used to their limit. The victim also risks having their personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs. 

A spokesperson for HMRC warned: "We only ever contact customers who are due a refund in writing by post. We never use emails, telephone calls or external companies in these circumstances. We strongly urge anyone receiving such an email to send it to us for investigation before deleting it."

Those who receive any suspicious emails of this nature are advised 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 http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/fraud-attempts.htm

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