HMRC RECEIVED ALMOST 80,000 reports of tax rebate phishing emails last year.
The emails, reported by taxpayers, promise a tax refund in exchange for personal, credit card or banking details. Responding to the emails leads to risks of fraud and the selling-on of the taxpayer's details to criminals.
Taxpayers are tricked into handing over their information by the apparent authenticity of the emails, often linking to clones of HMRC's website.
HMRC closed down 522 illegal sites in 2012. The emails originated from countries including the USA, Russia, Japan and central and eastern Europe.
Gareth Lloyd, head of digital security for HMRC, said: "HMRC does not email customers about tax refunds - we only ever contact customers who are genuinely due tax back in writing, by post."
Lloyd added that anyone receiving an email offering a tax rebate, claiming to be from HMRC, should delete it permanently.
He said: "HMRC does everything it can to ensure customers are safe online and we are working closely with other law enforcement agencies to target the criminals behind this serious crime."
HMRC advise not clicking on websites or links contained in suspicious emails or opening attachments. They also recommend forwarding suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further advice is published at www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm.
You may also like
If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.
In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.