Home ScamsPhishing Scams HMRC ‘Payment Credit Issuance’ Tax Refund Phishing Scam

HMRC ‘Payment Credit Issuance’ Tax Refund Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, you are eligible to receive a “Payment Credit Issuance” from the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).  

The email, which features the HMRC logo, instructs you to click a link to claim your tax refund.

However, the email is not from HMRC and clicking the link will not get you the promised refund.

Instead, the email is just one variant in a series of very similar tax refund phishing scams that have targeted UK taxpayers for a number of years.

If you click the link in the scam email, you will be taken to a fraudulent website and asked to complete a “Tax Refund Request” form.  The fake website has been built to emulate the genuine HMRC site. It includes logos, graphics and footer information stolen from HMRC.

The fake refund form asks you to supply your name, address, and other identifying information, ostensibly as a means of verifying your identity.  It also asks for your credit card numbers, supposedly so that your refund can be transferred directly to your credit card account.

After completing the form, you may see a final message stating that your refund request will be processed shortly.

But, meanwhile, online criminals can collect the information you supplied and use it to steal your identity.  They can also use your credit card to make fraudulent transactions.

Phishing scam campaigns like this one are very common. They target taxpayers in many countries.  Be wary of any unsolicited email or text message that claims that you can get a tax refund by clicking a link or opening an attached file. 

HMRC has information about recognising and reporting phishing scams on its website.

An example of the scam email:

2018 HMRC Tax Refund Scam Email

Since you’ve read this far…

…can I ask you for a big favour?

To enhance your privacy and security and offer you a better user experience, Hoax-Slayer is now ad-free. To keep the site online, I now rely on voluntary contributions from site visitors along with commissions from a few trusted products and services that I promote via reviews on the site.

If you found the above report useful, please consider supporting Hoax-Slayer by making a donation. Any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated.

You can donate using your credit card via the form below. Donations are collected securely via the online payment service Stripe. Stripe uses state of the art security to keep your data safe.

Brett Christensen