Tax Credit recipients targets for hoax emails
HMRC are warning those who claim Tax Credits to be vigilant about fraudulent emails being sent by criminals. Fraudsters are using the looming Tax Credit renewal deadline to induce claimants into sending them private financial information which would allow them to steal money from them.
The phishing emails currently circulating state that, if the Tax Credit customer provides their credit or debit card details, bank details, passwords and/or other personal information they will receive a monetary rebate. In reality on clicking upon a link within the email the recipient will land on a fake HMRC website and all information they submit on the page will be copied and used by con artists to take money from their account or could be sold on to other criminal gangs.
The warning HMRC is issuing about these phishing e mails coincides with its annual advertising campaign urging Tax Credit claimants to renew their claims by the deadline of July 31st.
Those who do receive a suspicious email are told not to click on any links contained within the email or to open any attachments. Instead they are asked to forward the message to HMRC at firstname.lastname@example.org, before deleting it. Addressing Tax Credit customers about the issue of the scam emails, Nick Lodge, Director General of Benefits and Credits, said: “HMRC will never ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email. We are committed to your online security but the methods fraudsters use to obtain information are constantly changing, so you need to be alert.”