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Watch out for the classic tax rebate scam

Marc Crosby 5th Mar 2015 No Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We received an email today claiming to be from HMRC saying we are owed more than £600 in tax rebates.

Happy days?

Well, no, actually because HMRC don’t send out emails to people owed tax rebates, they always send a letter.

It is in fact called a tax rebate scam to try and get important details from you to steal your money or for the purposes of identity theft/fraud.

Although this is an oldie it’s always good to be reminded – if you’re fooled by one of these emails then you could expose all your private details to criminal organisations.


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How exactly does the scam work?

for the identity fraudYou’ll receive an email from HMRC claiming that you’re owed a tax rebate.

In order to get it you’ll have to pass on information, download a file or open up a website – doing any of these actions will leave you vulnerable!

In our case we were asked to open a ‘tax rebate form’ (which happened to be a HTML document) and we were even recommended that we do so in Mozilla Firefox – nice of them to recommend which web browser they feel most comfortable conning us with!


What surprised me about the scam email is that it’s reasonably sophisticated.

Usually spam emails are poorly written, with a lot of typos, but this was written well.

They’ll often profess to be from an authoritative source, whether it be a bank or the FBI, but you’ll often find the email is from [email protected] (well, maybe not THAT obvious) – but in this case the email was from [email protected] which sounds reasonably legitimate.



HMRC have confirmed that they will never inform you of a tax rebate by email and would never ask for credit or debit card details.

If you receive an email you should send it to:

[email protected]

or if you think you’ve responded to one of these emails and given out information then forward it to:

[email protected]

and let them know what details you gave.


Have you received one of these scam emails? Perhaps you’ve even handed over details? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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