Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned people to stay vigilant of scammers stealing details through fake tax rebates.
The tax office is currently processing tax rebates following the end of the tax year.
Fraudsters are capitalising on this by contacting people via email and text message and telling them that they are due a tax rebate.
Read more: Top tips to protect your money against fraud
The scammers then persuade people to hand over their bank details, leaving them vulnerable to fraud.
Treasury Minister Mel Stride MP said: “HMRC only informs you about tax refunds through the post or through your pay via your employer. All emails, text messages, or voicemail messages saying you have a tax refund are a scam. Do not click on any links in these messages, and forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address and phone number.”
Many of the emails and texts targeting people contain links to websites which are then used to steal their information.
The HMRC said that it received 84,549 phishing reports in March and requested 2,672 phishing websites be taken down
Stride said: “We know that criminals will try and use events like the end of the financial year, the self-assessment deadline, and the issuing of tax refunds to target the public and attempt to get them to reveal their personal data. It is important to be alert to the danger.”
HMRC said that genuine organisations like the HMRC or banks would not contact you out of the blue to ask for your contact details.
It warned people not to reply to text messages, download attachments or click links in emails or messages they were not expecting.