Bolton Council's Trading Standards team is warning residents about a new tax rebate scam which is being carried out in the borough.
Fraudsters are sending e-mails to Bolton residents saying a tax rebate is due, with an apparently genuine e-mail address from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), as well as links to the official website. However, any residents who try to process the rebate will be responding to the fraudsters and giving them their personal and financial details.
Trading Standards officers want to highlight to residents that HMRC would never contact them asking them to disclose personal information. If residents have received an email requesting personal information for the payment of tax, or telling them that they are due a tax rebate, then they should not click on any links included in the email, but should run their anti-virus software to check for any viruses and send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org then delete it.
Other ways of telling if the email is fraudulent are if the email is not addressed to you by name; if you are not taken to a secure site within HMRC shown by a padlock symbol and also if you are asked to follow a link to a genuine-looking website. Residents are advised to double check that they are visiting the correct website by typing HMRC's web address directly into the browser of their computer.
Councillor Nick Peel, Executive Member for Housing, Neighbourhoods and Regulation said: "We advise residents to be wary of an email of this type. HMRC will never send notifications of a tax rebate by email, nor ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email. Nor will they request that you update your security certification. If you have received a suspicious email claiming to be from HMRC then do not respond to it and I urge you to do as suggested and forward it to HMRC directly before deleting it."