As the deadline to file your self-assessments draws ever closer, for some of you a refund will be on the horizon! However, if you receive a text, email or phone call from “HMRC” letting you know you are due a refund and you were not expecting it – tread carefully. Every year fraudsters try their luck at getting their hands on your cash by posing as HMRC and sending out phishing emails – usually claiming to need you to login or provide your bank details to process a refund. These tend to ramp up towards the end of January, as many people still tend to file their returns at the last minute, so it seems plausible that “HMRC” would be emailing you within a few days.
Being vigilant at this time of year is key – and if you do receive anything that looks suspicious, it is best to forward it onto HMRC for investigation before you delete it: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HMRC keep a list of known phishing emails/websites here:
A selection of email addresses used to distribute the tax rebate scam emails are below:
HMRC will only send you details on any repayments via the post, or through your employer, if you are on PAYE.
As with all scams, there are usually little clues you can look out for that give it away. Whether it is formatting or spelling mistakes, wonky security certificates (you should see a padlock in the browser address bar for secure sites), strange email addresses (no, HMRC do not email from a Hotmail or Gmail!), “spoofed” website addresses (hover over the link in the email to see where it’ll send you) or unusual characters in the text. However, these mistakes are easy to overlook when you’re trying to claim the £500 you believe you’re owed.
Here at Ten Forward, we want to make sure that you do not fall into the traps – HMRC will never email you or call you about a tax refund or ask you to disclose any personal or financial details via email. If you receive an email, call or text that you are unsure of, get in touch with your client manager or a member of the tax team and we can help verify the message.