back to article HMRC warns (again) over tax refund phishing scams

UK taxpayers were officially warned on Friday to have nothing to do with supposed tax refund emails that have begun circulating since the deadline for self-assessment tax returns expired on Monday. The scam emails claim the recipients (prospective marks) are entitled to a tax refund, which can supposedly be claimed after …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whereas in fact.. when the revenue do send you a refund that just stick it into your account with no explanation whatsoever.

    1. Tiny Iota

      I wish...

      I wish it was plopped directly into my bank account. I received a refund cheque this week for £3.74

    2. smudge

      Keep watching the post

      The letter telling me about my refund arrived a couple of days ago, about two weeks after the money had appeared in my account.

      Dunno when you got your refund, but maybe the letter's on its way...

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      That isn't accurate in all cases...

      Maybe that's how it works for you, but I had a refund just before Christmas, and first I got notification that I was due something back, and that it would be sent separately. A few days later a cheque arrived (surprisingly, since it was sent during the bad weather and pre-Christmas backlog).

  2. jimbarter


    I got one of those...

    this was the copy




    HMRC 2010-2011

    LOCAL OFFICE No. 3819


    TAX REFUND ID NUMBER: 381716209


    Dear Applicant,

    The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential and as

    applicable, copyright in these is reserved to HM Revenue & Customs.

    Unless expressly authorised by us, any further dissemination or

    distribution of this email or its attachments is prohibited.

    If you are not the intended recipient of this email, please reply to

    inform us that you have received this email in error and then delete it

    without retaining any copy.

    I am sending this email to announce: After the last annual calculation of

    your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a

    tax refund of 244.79 GBP

    You have attached the tax return form with the TAX REFUND NUMBER ID: 381716209,

    complete the tax return form attached to this message.

    After completing the form, please submit the form by clicking the SUBMIT

    button on form and allow us 5-9 business days in order to process it.

    Our head office address can be found on our web site at HM Revenue & Customs:


    Lisa Frank

    HMRC Tax Credit Office


    TAX REFUND ID: UK381716209-HMRC


    There was an attached .zip file containing a very official looking form

    I new there was no way this was from HMRC as I probably owe them tax rather than the other way round

    The action on the form posted its contents to

    and there was a hidden email address

    I dutifully filled in the form with the details of a Mr Mike Litoris and the email address has been signed up for all sorts of unsavories...

    I also reported it to phishing at HMRC.

  3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Only letters

    Great now they'll start spamming letters in the post, at least they have to pay for that (Unless they are using someone elses account to pay for it)

  4. Anonymous Coward

    DVLA too

  5. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    @ Whereas...

    This is not my experience of HMRC. If you do you your SA return online you are notified instantly whether you are to receive an refund or if you owe - as a part of the submission process. This is then followed up by a formal letter 3 or 4 days later.

    This year, my refund was in my bank account before the letter had arrived.

    Very efficient.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Tax repayment

      Well this isnt the case, i did my SA form online on 22/01/11 and the repayment was available as of 31/01/11 so i reclaimed my repayment in full!

      After waiting over 48 hours for the system to procceed with my repayment request i was able to request repayment in full again.

      So i thought that maybe the request hadnt gone through so i requested my repayment again and i got exactly the same thing all over again!

      After another 48 hours i was able to request my repayment YET AGAIN! but i did not.

      The HMRC then said that if the repayment had been requested then i would not be able to request the repayment, so why can i still request it?

      It has been ten working days since the first request and 4 days since the second request and i have had no letter and no payment into my bank account.

      What doesnt help is that there is nothing on the HMRC website to help me and talking to the help line doesnt help either as you are told something different everytime.

      So now tell me and anyone else in this situation that the HMRC are efficent, WHAT RUBBISH!

      Can anyone help or give me some sort of decent answer.

  6. Richard P. Scott



    I have to say that is an impressive phish compared to the vast amount of grammatical or spelling errors present in most examples. The copyright notice at the beginning is also a nice touch.

    Whoever created that must be in the top percentile of competence in the phishing community.

    1. Gordon Barret


      I dunno -

      generally speaking the "copyright" etc bits that are attached to emails sent from a company go on the BOTTOM of the email not right at the top after the "Dear Sir" or whatever.

      And people in the UK generally use "£" and not "GBP".

      And the inconsistencies like having both "TAX REFUND ID NUMBER" and "TAX REFUND NUMBER ID".

      But you are quite correct - they are usually so obvious mainly due to the ridiculous spellings and grammatical errors!

  7. jonathanb Silver badge

    Another thing to watch out for

    May not be doing the rounds at this precise moment in time, but you also need to watch out for people who phish for your hmrc website login details. They use these to submit a fake tax return on your behalf and ask for the refund to be paid to their bank account. Of course the tax return will contain false information, and HMRC will investigate later and ask for the money back together with the tax you actually owe and misdeclaration penalties.

    I guess this one will start up again in April when the new tax year starts.

  8. Great Southern Land

    You're Not Alone

    We have the same problems in Australia - and the wording of the emails is virtually identical.

  9. Sub Wrath

    had one yesterday

    think it was going on about "cash windfall bonus" payments or something along those lines.

    more chance of winning the lottery without playing, really.

  10. BadmashJavawallah

    Ha! Got one!

    And it's very professional. Correct spelling, punctuation, and everything. Are the phishers finally learning?

  11. Equitas

    Ever try .....

    to pay a tax demand that's come through the post?

    The HMRC system is rather less convincing than that of the scammers.

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