We received an email today claiming to be from HMRC saying we are owed more than £600 in tax rebates.
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.
How exactly does the scam work?
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@example.com (well, maybe not THAT obvious) – but in this case the email was from firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
or if you think you’ve responded to one of these emails and given out information then forward it to:
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.