Scam emails double during tax credits renewal period July 1st, 2015 jmr jmr Latest News Shares Comments Fraudsters are targeting tax credits claimants with scam emails, fake websites and text messages in the run-up to the 31 July renewals deadline, HMRC warned today. New statistics show that nearly 51,000 phishing emails were reported to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between April and July last year – double the number for the same period in 2013. Some of these scam messages claim to be from a “Tax Credit Office Agent” offering a tax refund, or include a link to a fake version of the GOV.UK website. People are often asked to provide bank details or other sensitive information such as passwords. Fraudsters then try to take money from their account, or sell their identities to criminals. Last year, HMRC worked with other agencies to shut down 8,877 of these scam websites – a 500% increase against 2013’s figures – and the message to tax credits customers this year is to stay vigilant. Nick Lodge, Director General of Benefits and Credits, HMRC, said: “HMRC will never ask people to disclose personal information by email. We have cracked down on phishing emails and scam websites, but the fraudsters’ methods are constantly changing, so people must remain vigilant. “The only way to renew tax credits and report changes online is on GOV.UK.” HMRC has advice on recognising scam emails, and how to report them, on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/dealing-with-hmrc/phishing-scams Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321 Email [email protected] Facebook www.facebook.com/otsnews.co.uk Twitter www.twitter.com/onthespot_news Breaking local news as it happens, searchable archives with photographs, the ability to instantly comment on news articles – there are so many advantages to OTS (Onthespot) News. If you want your news read locally online then send it to [email protected]– relying only on the newspaper is to restrict yourself to an ever reducing audience. Related Comments comments!