Ritchie warning over tax scam

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Local councillor Drew Ritchie has warned people to be wary of emails in circulation, purporting to be from Government Tax Offices claiming that they are due a tax refund.

Ald. Ritchie said that with the deadline for the submission for online tax returns having just passed on January 31, “the scammers are out in force”.

He added that he had been contacted by a number of constituents who have received emails purporting to be from HM Revenue and Customs, Irish Tax and Customs seeking the completion of an online form to claim a tax rebate.

He added: “By making a simple check with the relevant Tax office our office has quickly confirmed that this is a scam. People should be aware that by completing the online form they will be releasing confidential financial details to strangers.

“My advice is if you receive a suspicious email, do not click on the attachment or reply to it. If an unsolicited email purports to be from a bank, the tax office or any other institution, it is always advisable to ring them first to make sure they actually sent you something. Anyone who is actually awaiting a tax refund should contact their local Revenue Office to check its status.

“HMRC have told me that they never send notifications of a tax rebate, or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email.

“If received forward the dodgy email to HMRC at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete it. Similarly, the Irish Tax and Customs email in the current scam comes from a domain registered in the USA. If in doubt forward the email to webmaster@revenue.ie and then delete the email.”

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