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News - 25 June 2014

Warning over scam emails

 HMRC has issued a warning to anyone who claims tax credits. In the run-up to the tax credit renewal deadline on 31 July, they expect a surge in the number of scam emails from criminals using this as an opportunity to steal your money and your personal details.

 
Stuart Coleman, Data Protection Officer at ABDS comments:
“Apparently during last year's tax credits renewal period, which runs from April to July, almost 25,000 phishing emails were reported to HMRC. This year that figure could be more than double - as in May alone there were more than 11,000 scam emails reported - a 131% increase.”
 
HMRC has been working to shut the scammers down. It closed 611 scam websites during the tax credits renewal period last year. Over the whole of 2013 there were 1,740 scam sites closed down - most based in Turkey, Spain and Bulgaria.
 
Stuart continues:
“The emails will claim to be from HMRC, and will offer the promise of money back - possibly as a refund or more credits. They will include a link: if you click on it you will be directed to a fake replica of the HMRC website. This site has been built by the scammers with the sole intention of taking your money. You will be asked to provide credit or debit card details or other sensitive information such as passwords. They will then use this information to prove your identity and take money from your account, or run up a credit card debt in your name.”
 
Nick Lodge, Director General of Benefits and Credits at HMRC, is very clear that HMRC will never ask people to disclose personal or payment information by email, so if you get an email like this it is always a scam - in every single case.
"One scam is contained in an email circulated from taxreturn@hmrc.gov.uk telling recipients about a 2013 tax refund report. The email appears to have been issued by "Tax Credit Office Preston", but it is a scam. It includes an attachment that contains a virus. Recipients are urged not to respond and to delete it immediately."
 
If you get an email asking for details, especially one which includes an attachment, don't open it and do not click on the link. Forward it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete it immediately.
 
For those who are looking for a more personal approach on a range of business related issues, contact us at ABDS.
 
ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900 E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net
 
Brilliant with numbers  
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals
 
Helping Your Business is Our Business

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