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News - 20 May 2013

Email scam: Tax credit claimants beware

MRC has issued a warning about a new phishing scam aimed at Tax Credit claimants just as the run up to the renewal deadline approaches.

During last year’s tax credits renewals period, from April to July, nearly 22,000 phishing emails were reported to HMRC. Although the department worked with other agencies to shut down more than 147 scam websites during the period, others continue to be created.

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“Phishing emails often promise money back and, if the recipient clicks on a link, they are taken to a fake replica of the HMRC website. They are then asked to provide credit or debit card details or other sensitive information such as passwords. The fraudsters then try to take money from their account.”

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. Anyone who receives this type of email should send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Scam emails often request name, address, date of birth, bank account number, sort code, credit card details, national insurance number, passwords and mother’s maiden name.
HMRC took action to close down 522 illegal sites in 2012, which showed emails originated from the USA, Russia and Japan, as well as central and eastern Europe.

If someone believes that they have been the victim of an email scam, they should report the matter to their bank or credit card issuer immediately.

For business advice and a more personal approach, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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