Page last updated at 14:11 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 15:11 UK

Revenue warning over scam notice

HMRC tax form
The HMRC provides regular updates on scam concerns

The UK's tax authority is warning people to ignore a fraudulent e-mail that suggests the recipients are able to receive money.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said that the message, dated 15 June, is not an official e-mail.

It suggests that the recipients have been approved by the HMRC to receive cash and is the latest in a series of scam messages taking the HMRC name.

Losses from scams in the UK are estimated to total £3.5bn a year.

The Office of Fair Trading calculated that 3.2 million people were caught out by scams each year.

False message

The fraudulent e-mail even suggests: "Due to the security, we ask that you keep all information confidential until your claim will be processed and your money remitted to you."

It goes on to say that this is the result of "security protocols" and encourages the reader to complete an attached form with certain personal information.

"There are several sophisticated phishing scams that HMRC have encountered. We only ever contact customers who are due a refund in writing by post," said a HMRC spokesman.

"We never use e-mails, telephone calls or external companies in these circumstances. We strongly encourage anyone receiving such an email to send it to us for investigation."

Earlier in the month, the HMRC warned that a high number of e-mails were being sent out offering a tax rebate, but the tax authority stressed that it would not inform customers of a tax rebate via e-mail, or invite them to complete an online form to receive a rebate of tax.

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