HMRC warns of fake tax rebate emails as deadline approaches

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has issued a warning over the latest round of ‘phishing’ emails.

As the self-assessment deadline approaches, the emails in question pose as HMRC notifying the recipient that they are due a tax rebate.

The email then links to a clone of HMRC’s website, and asks for bank or credit card details, which are then used to empty accounts.

In the last three months HMRC has helped to shut down 185 websites that were responsible for sending such emails.

HMRC is urging taxpayers not to get caught out. Commenting, Joan Wood, director of HMRC Online and Digital said: “We only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. We currently don’t use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances. If anyone receives an email claiming to be from HMRC, please send it to before deleting it permanently.

“HMRC will do everything possible to ensure those people receiving this email know what steps to take to protect their information, and we are working closely with other law enforcement agencies to target the criminals behind this serious crime and see them brought to justice.”

HMRC has published advice, including example emails here.

If you think you have been the victim of an email scam the advice is to report the matter to your bank or card issuer as soon as possible. If in doubt you can find more information here.