HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is warning taxpayers about a new spate of scam emails that are claiming to come from the Revenue but are actually a ploy to get hold of personal financial details.
Since HMRC has been processing rebates in April, there has been an increase in the number of fraudulent messages, whereby the scammers have tried to trick recipients into handing over their bank details.
Last year, criminals sent out almost 2,500 phishing messages every day.
One taxpayer who was tricked last year said that he received a text message from ‘InfoHM’, which he believed to be from the taxman. He clicked on the link and found himself on a page that was “the spitting image” of a gov.uk site. He entered his insurance number and date of birth and even provided his details and his mother’s maiden name.
However, he subsequently realised that the text was a scam and reported the breach to HMRC and Action Fraud and has since put in place extra online security on his accounts.
HMRC has reiterated that it never requests bank details by text or phone and is shutting down hundreds of sites a week associated with these schemes.
A spokeswoman for HMRC said that anyone receiving a phishing message should not respond and ensure that they report it to HMRC.
The Revenue is particularly trying to target young people with their warning, as this group typically manages their finances via their mobile phones, therefore could be especially susceptible.