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HMRC ‘Reimbursements are Available’ Tax Refund Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which purports to be from the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), you only have 48 hours to click a link and claim an outstanding tax refund. 

The message warns that reimbursements are only available for a certain period of time.

However, the email is not from HMRC and clicking the link does not take you to a legitimate refund claim form.

Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.

If you click the link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that has been built to emulate the genuine HMRC website. Once on the site, you will first be asked to provide your name and contact details, your address, your date of birth, and “background information” such as your mother’s maiden name.

Next, you will be taken to a second form that asks for your credit card numbers and other identifying personal information.

After you submit the fake refund form, you will be automatically redirected to the genuine HMRC website.

But, criminals can now collect the information that you supplied and use it to commit credit card fraud and steal your identity.

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:

HMRC Tax Refund Scam

Since you’ve read this far…

…can I ask you for a big favour?

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Brett Christensen