Beware fake tax rebate offers

HMRC continues to warn of the ever-present problem of fraudulent phishing emails, suspicious phone calls and texts. These unwanted emails, phone calls and texts are being sent from around the world as HMRC and other agencies continue to combat the problem.

These messages aim to obtain taxpayers personal and or financial information such as passwords, credit card or bank account details. The phishing emails and texts often include a link to a bogus website encouraging the recipient to enter their personal details.

For example, taxpayers who completed their tax return for the 2022-23 tax year by the 31 January 2024 deadline might be taken in by an email, phone call or text message offering a tax rebate.

Recipients of phony messages should avoid clicking on any links. HMRC asks that phishing emails and bogus text messages are reported. The emails can be sent to HMRC by email phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk or by text message to 60599.

HMRC responded to 207,800 referrals from the public of suspicious contact in the past year to January – up 14% from the 181,873 reported for the previous 12 months. More than 79,000 of those referrals offered bogus tax rebates.

HMRC is clear that they do not email, text or phone a customer to tell them that they are due a refund or ask them to request a refund. Taxpayers receive repayments into their chosen bank account, and can see any transactions in their online HMRC account and in the HMRC app.

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