Taxman warning that claimants be wary of scammers

Tax Credits renewal time – scam warning

PEOPLE ARE BEING warned not to fall for a Tax Credit scam as the July 31 deadline for renewing applications for the scheme approaches.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have reported a marked increase in the number of scam ‘phishing’ emails being sent to potential claimants claiming to be from a “tax credit office agent”.

Over 51,000 of the emails were reported last year – double that of the previous year – and now HMRC are reminding people that they would never under any circumstances ask people to disclose personal information by email.

The messages – sent by email or text message – try to entice people into giving up personal information including bank details and passwords. They then try and use these to remove cash from their victim’s bank accounts.

HMRC worked with others to close down 8877 scam websites last year, and Nick Lodge, director-general of benefits and credits, said: “We will never ask people to disclose personal information by email.

“We have cracked down on phishing emails and scam websites – but the fraudsters’ methods are constantly changing so people must remain vigilant.

“The only way to renew tax credits and report changes online is through gov.uk.”

Anyone who receives what they believe to be a scam email is urged to forward them to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

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