Tax credit claimants are being advised by HMRC to be aware of scam or ‘phishing’ emails being sent by fraudsters in the run up to the tax credit renewal deadline.
The warning comes as claimants are reminded to file their tax credits form or renew their claim in order to continue receiving payments.
Some 22,000 phishing emails were reported to HMRC during last year’s renewal period from April to July 2012.
The fraudulent emails often promise money back and contain links to a fake replica of the HMRC website. Users are then asked to provide credit or debit card details or other sensitive information, such as passwords.
Nick Lodge, director general of benefits and credits, said: “HMRC will never ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email. We are committed to your online security but the methods fraudsters use to obtain information are constantly changing, so you need to be alert. Anyone who receives this type of email should report it to HMRC.”
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