Wrexham Trading Standards has had new reports from people who have received official-looking emails offering them a tax refund based around Covid-19 support for businesses.
This is a scam!
This is a scam…don’t click on any of the links within the email.
The refund you’re being offered is likely to be in the thousands of pounds! The email we’ve seen states: “Due to on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance and support for businesses, we’ve determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund credit of 12368.72 GBP.”
You are then prompted to click a link to ‘Sign in to HMRC online services’ to enter your bank account details, Government Gateway user ID and password. Don’t click this link – this is an attempt to steal your personal information.
“Real concern that some may think it is a genuine email”
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “Scams around tax relief are very familiar, but this time the email is looking to capitalise on support being offered in response to the ongoing pandemic. As some people may have recently put in a claim for tax relief for working from home, there is real concern that some may think it is a genuine email, which it definitely is not.
“The advice remains the same – always take the time you need to identify whether something could be a scam first. If you’re still not sure, get in touch with the company directly. This will help to keep you safe.”
We know anything telling you that you might have paid too much tax might seem very attractive, and it can be very tempting to follow such messages up, but doing so will leave you vulnerable to having your information stolen.
Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
How to deal with suspicious emails
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently created the Suspicious Email Reporting Service which makes it easy for people to forward suspicious emails to them.
The NCSC will then analyse the suspect email and any websites it links to.
Report a cyber crime
If you think you may have been the victim of fraud or cyber-crime, you should report this to Action Fraud via their website or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Action Fraud is the UK’s National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.
General scam advice
Consumer advice can be obtained from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. They can be contacted on 0808 223 1144 (Welsh) or 0808 223 1133 (English).
Stay safe and please stay scam aware.
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