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Beware Tax Email Scams

Newsletter issue - August 09.

Many people are currently waiting for a tax rebate from the Tax Office, as they have claimed for losses to be set against an earlier year's income. If you are expecting such a tax refund, or even if you are not, take care not to be drawn in by emails that claim to have a tax rebate ready for you. These emails tend to ask for details of your bank account to pay the refund into, but they are scams.

The UK tax office: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC as it also known) does not send emails to taxpayers informing them of tax rebates. All such emails are fraudulent, and potentially very dangerous. You should not respond to the email. Do not click on any link embedded in the email as this may allow the scammers access to your computer through a virus included in the link.

Fraudulent emails normally stand out as they are not correctly addressed to you personally. The email may have missing address details or say 'Dear Applicant' or 'Dear Taxpayer'. Some scam emails include what looks like a tax refund form including a fax back number. You should never complete such a form sent to you by email supposedly from HMRC. To complete genuine HMRC forms yourself you need to log into the HMRC secure website using a password and User ID which will have been sent to you in the post.

If you have doubts about an email supposedly from HMRC, forward it on to the HMRC email security centre at: phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk then delete it.

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