Email purporting to be from UK tax agency HMRC claims that the agency has recalculated your last fiscal activity and determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund.
The email is not from HMRC. The promise of an unexpected tax refund is just the bait used to trick you into clicking a link.
If you do click the link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that asks you to supply your name, address, and contact details along with other identifying information. The fake HMRC site also asks you to supply your credit card numbers. Supposedly, all of this information is required to allow the processing of your refund claim.
In reality, the information you supply will be collected by scammers and used to commit credit card fraud and steal your identity.
This message is just one in a long line of fake tax refund notifications that are designed to trick people into giving their personal and financial information to online criminals. Other versions claim to be from the IRS, the ATO, and other tax agencies all around the world.
The HMRC website includes information about dealing with such phishing scams.
If you receive one of these tax refund emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
Last updated: March 20, 2017
First published: March 20, 2017
By Brett M. Christensen