Every day millions of self employed people check their inbox and read important emails from customers, clients, and…HMRC.
When an email from HMRC comes through it is usually a (polite) demand for money. And with those words our nations self employed write out a cheque and get it over with.
However, in the last few months some self employed people have been seeing the words “TAX REBATE” in their inbox.
“It can’t be, can it?” they say to themselves.
It looks official. Everything seems to be in order.
“They want to give me money…where do I sign?” they say to themselves.
So without thinking they click the link on the email and go directly to the Government Gateway page to get their funds.
Everything is very official. Free money is just over the horizon.
And then…something goes terribly wrong.
The innocent self employed person puts in personal details such as bank accounts and credit cards. That kind of thing. But there is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.
Do you know why? Because its a scam, that’s why.
That’s right. These scammers are sending out “Phishing” emails which claim to be from HMRC but are really from some bloke called Steve who lives in his Mums Basement.
The Phishing email is designed to attract you with the promise of a tax rebate. It is designed to make you feel secure with an official looking email and webpage. It is also designed to fleece you of cash directly out of your bank account.
Once these scammers have your bank account details (which you willingly hand over) then you can say goodbye to those bank notes, once and for all. You will never see them again. The scammers won’t even leave you an IOU note. It will just be gone and you will be left wondering what just happened.
Sure, you can phone the Police but they can’t really do anything. They are not really into raiding basements anyway. They have bigger fish to fry.
You can even contact HMRC and tell them all about it, but just like the Police, they really can’t do anything either.
You are on your own on this one, which means being aware and not becoming a victim is so important.
KNOW THIS: You will NEVER get an email from HMRC telling you about a tax refund.
So don’t fall for it, and if you are confused about any email you get from “HMRC” then contact them directly and ask them about it.
You can also go to the HMRC official website directly and log in to your account. Don’t click on any links that come with an email.