Fraudsters are cashing in from a wave of scam emails offering tax refunds claiming they are from HM Revenue and Customs.
The email asks people to fill in a form with personal details so the money can be transferred to their bank accounts. But the forms are fake and give the scammers the opportunity to raid your bank account.
Hundreds of Nottingham Students have fallen for the scam and even filled out the form they provided, awaiting their tax repayment.
Audio: Victim, Natalie Archer who fell for the scam, speaks about the danger of believing the fraudsters.
Six ways to tell if an email is fraudulent:
- Spelling and Grammar: does the email have incorrect spelling on certain words?
- Incorrect ‘from’ address: if you click onto the sender details, is it a professional email?
- ‘Urgent action required’: does it say anywhere on the email you must complete within a certain time period? Fraudsters ask for immediate action.
- Personal information: HMRC will never contact you via email only through the post.
- Common greetings: HMRC will always address you correctly, never ‘Dear Customer’.
- Fake websites: scammers will always include links to webpages that look like the genuine website of the companies, to trick you into enclosing personal information.
“The email appeared in my inbox not junk and SAID IT WAS from HMRC which is why I believed it was genuine.”
Victim, Jason Porter
Jason Porter, a student who completed the form provided, said: “The email appeared in my inbox not junk and said it was from HMRC which is why I believed it was genuine.” He didn’t realise the email was a scam until it was nearly too late. Jason had to block his card and wait a week to use his new account again to stop the fraudsters accessing his money.
If you have received a tax refund scam email and have filled out the form they provided, the advice is to contact your bank where they will be able to assist you further.
You can also help by forwarding the scam email to: email@example.com.
There’s more information at Gov UK about how to deal with suspicious emails.