HMRC are strongly advising customers to lookout for a new phishing scam in the form of an email with the subject, “Your 2016 Tax Report”, with an attachment.
Anyone who receives this email should not open it but instead forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it.
HMRC would never email or text to notify you that you are due a tax refund. Similarly, any links or options to send bank details to them would also be from spammers.
Some common tell-tale signs to look out for suggesting that the email may not be genuine may be:
• Looking at the sender address to see who it is from (as opposed to the display name which can be different);
• Checking for spelling errors;
• Checking for the use of urgent language (account suspended etc);
• The email signature – if it does not detail exactly who it is from and the organisation details;
• If the email is made out to a part of your email address or to ‘customer’ or the like.
Reporting fraud to HMRC
On 4th April HMRC launched the Fraud Hotline. This is a new service which will simplify the fraud reporting process. The new telephone number and online form have replaced the former separate tax evasion and customs reporting lines.
To report fraud or evasion, you can call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887 between 8am-8pm seven days a week or use the online digital form on GOV.UK. As well as making it easier to report fraud, streamlining the service will allow more time for analysis of intelligence, so cases can be quickly passed to their investigators.