FRAUDSTERS are targeting North East taxpayers as the deadline looms for self-assessment returns.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning people to be wary of phishing emails that tell them they are due a tax rebate.
They contain a link to a clone of the HMRC website where the recipient is asked to give their credit card or bank details. Criminals then try to take money from their victims’ accounts and may pass on their details to other organised gangs.
In the last three months HMRC has helped to shut down 185 such websites. It only ever contacts customers who a due a tax refund in writing by post.
Anyone who receives a suspicious email should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org before deleting it.
The deadline for self-assessment tax returns is January 31.