HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are warning tax credit claimants about scam or ‘phishing’ e-mails sent out by fraudsters in the run-up to the 31st July deadline. Phishing e-mails which claim to be from HMRC often promise money back and if you click on a link you are taken to a FAKE replica of the HMRC website. You will then be asked to provide credit or debit card details or other sensitive information such as passwords. The fraudsters will then try to steal the money from your bank account. During last year’s tax credit renewal period which only runs from April to July, nearly 25,000 phishing e-mails were reported to HMRC. This year to date there has been an increase of 131%. HMRC is asking people to be wary of e-mails with attachments which might contain viruses designed to steal personal or financial information, and not to open them. One particular scam tells recipients about a 2013 tax refund and appears to have been issued by the ‘Tax Credit Office, Preston’. This is a scam which contains a virus within the attachment. Recipients are urged not to respond but to delete the e-mail immediately. For further information please visit www.hmrc.gov.uk PLEASE NOTE THAT HMRC WILL NEVER ASK PEOPLE TO DISCLOSE PERSONAL OR PAYMENT INFORMATION BY E-MAIL

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