Some time ago I wrote a blog post called Beware Notice of Tax Return e-mail which has been receiving a lot of traffic of late. I was wondering why until I received an e-mail with subject “ID: 441013829” from “firstname.lastname@example.org”. In the body of the e-mail the message:
Pending Tax Refund
We would like to notify you that you still have an outstanding tax
refund of £265.84 from overpaid tax from year ending 2015, despite our
previous letters regarding your refund we are yet to receive your claim.
Requests for refunds are time limited please use the link below to
complete your claim online also note the following:
* You have until the 30th of March 2016 to make your claim
* Reference No: 2015/956324/B
* We can only process a refund for the tax year we have detailed above
Start Claim [button with this is the link to the Start Claim http://www.frantonhomes.com/job.php?C15B4DA2EFBF3EDCF5B3B7939084862B72B080884662CE63CD8FCDBE470C76758A9EF80891AD034E2B3E1D8E2E2142CA5A752E9C8C8BD218E82E790DB5027 ]
We aim to send repayments within 2 weeks, but it may take longer in some
cases. You should wait 4 weeks before contacting us about the payment.
HM Revenue and Customs
* © Crown Copyright
At first glance much of the body of the e-mail looks plausible, but the obvious thing that is wrong is that link from the “Start Claim button. If the e-mail had been real it would have pointed to https://www.gov.uk/claim-tax-refund note that it starts https, so it is a secure website. Next the “gov.uk” domain, this is used for web pages only, it is not used for e-mail these use “[name]@[department].gsi.gov.uk”. Finally there is that “© Crown Copyright” this just doesn’t appear in legitimate e-mails.
If you do get one of these e-mails there is advice on what to do here.
Hope this helps you spot the scams, if you would like to leave a comment about your experiences or advice to help others, please do so below.