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Beware of this Council Tax Refund Email Scam

Council Tax Refund Email Scam

With the digital age being susceptible to many scams, it can be difficult to know which emails that you receive are genuine.

There has recently been a new string of scam emails that are being circulated and if you fall victim to it, it could lead to you losing your life savings.

The scam comes as hackers are attempting to find smarter ways to trick people out of their money. They’re posing as HMRC and encouraging people to fill in their financial details online after saying that they’re eligible for a council tax refund. However, the email isn’t sent by an official HMRC email address and in most cases, the people aren’t eligible for refunds.

Victims are told that they’ve been entered into the wrong tax bracket when paying their contributions and that they’re entitled to a payment of around £7,000. Scammers then retrieve the banking details after the unaware customer is lead to believe that they need to enter their banking information in order to receive the money. In fact, their bank accounts are open to being drained and it could cost them thousands.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) are urging customers to check the address in which the emails are sent from claiming to be your local council. This can be done by using this tool on the Government website.

If in doubt about the emails that you receive, this tool is able to highlight the email addresses used by local councils. Remember that HMRC will never send you an email or text in order to issue a tax rebate; you will always receive a letter through the post.

Often, these emails contain links to what you may think is a page on the Government or HMRC website. However, opening these links means that your information could be hacked through unwillingly downloading malicious software and you may be redirected to a replica of the official website.

If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud, notify your bank immediately in order to block future withdrawals. You should then report the details of the email or fraudulent phone call to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk in order for them to investigate.

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