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Revenue issues warning over tax rebate emails

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned taxpayers not to respond to ‘phishing’ emails regarding tax rebates, as it emerged that taxpayers reported almost 80,000 of the bogus emails last year.

According to HMRC, fraudulent activity often increases following the closure of the 31 January self assessment deadline.

The emails, which are set up to look as though they are sent by HMRC, ask the recipient to confirm their personal, credit card or bank account details in order to process a tax refund.

However, HMRC has stressed that it would never contact customers via email regarding a genuine tax rebate.

Gareth Lloyd of HMRC said, ‘If anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate and claiming to be from HMRC, please send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently’.

Further advice about online security, including some examples of phishing emails and how to identify them, is available on the following link: www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm.