HM Revenue & Customs

  Chegs ®™ 01:30 AM 13 Sep 12

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 190,05GBP. Please submit the tax refund request and allow 7-9 working days in order to process. Please download the document attached to this email and complete the form.

Note: A refund can be delayed a variety of reasons, for example submitting invalid records or applying after deadline.

Yours Sincerely, HM Revenue & Customs

Above is an email I received this morning stating I should complete a form and return it to HM Revenue & Customs for a tax refund.It contains a couple of instances of poor english and on the form I downloaded are a few links,one of which says "Contact Us" but doesn't actually take me anywhere which makes me extremely suspicious that it is a scam to obtain my bank details.Thats where they've scored an own goal(if it is a scam)as firstly,I have no bank account & secondly,they can't steal money from a non-existent account.If they tried to use my identity to commit fraud,again they're going to find out my credit rating is probably less than zero and the only place likely to offer them credit is Wonga(I watched Watchdog earlier)If it isn't a scam,then the money would be a great help just now.Anyone any suggestions as to what action I should take?

  wee eddie 04:37 AM 13 Sep 12

You are right to be suspicious, it wants access to your Bank Account

  wiz-king 05:28 AM 13 Sep 12

Been about for months, I have had several of them.

  Forum Editor 08:27 AM 13 Sep 12

It's a scam. HMRC will never communicate about your personal tax affairs via email. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of similar messages have been sent over the past year or so.

Bin it, and go back to dreaming of a lottery win.

  morddwyd 08:34 AM 13 Sep 12

I have had three genuine tax refunds in the last year.

All of them, both cheque and separate notification letter, came by post, even though I do my HMRC business on line and am registered with the on line government site.

  BT 09:02 AM 13 Sep 12

On the subject of poor spelling I saw an Ad yesterday for the Kumon Maths and English tutoring organisation with spelling mistakes in it. Doesn't really inspire much confidence.

  Chegs ®™ 09:05 AM 13 Sep 12

Thought it was an attempt to access my bank account,thank you.It is now deleted & added to the list of blocked senders.It did look genuine though so I can see how people get caught out,but only genuine at first cursory glance.Once I looked a little closer,I saw the grammatical errors which set the alarm bells ringing which is why I tried to use the "Contact Us" tab.

  Forum Editor 09:30 AM 13 Sep 12

I have previously discussed this with a senior tax inspector at HMRC. He said that they're well aware of the security risks associated with contacting taxpayers via email about personal tax matters, which is why they will never do it.

Everything goes via post. It takes longer, costs more, but it's more secure. Part of the reason for it taking longer is that all HMRC letters go out via a central clearing depot. Letters to me from a London tax office go to Newcastle first, and then back to London.

  OTT_B 20:20 PM 13 Sep 12

I get these email fairly regularly, delivered straight to a spam folder.

A while back I read / heard a report that reasoned why types of emails are sent out with spelling and grammatical errors on them. It's not because no-one has bothered proof reading them, or that the author didn't speak very good English. It's because the scammers only want the most gullible people to click the links - the people who won't stop to question anything that's asked of them, for any reason.

Granted, there aren't too many of those people around, but if you fire out enough spam, you find someone eventually.

  Forum Editor 07:19 AM 14 Sep 12

"...if you fire out enough spam, you find someone eventually."

You find plenty of people, that's the problem. There are lots of spammers who have made a great deal of money.


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