Equifax warning over tax credit rebate fraudCredit reference agency warns of email scam

31 July 2009

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Your income will affect the tax credits you receive

Credit reference agency Equifax is warning people to beware of bogus emails claiming to offer a rebate on tax credits in return for their bank details.

The scam coincides with today's deadline for renewing tax credits.

People should be aware that HM Revenue and Customs doesn't ask for bank details via e-mail or the telephone and therefore such an email is highly likely to be bogus.

Risk of financial fraud

The emails ask for credit card or bank details and if you gave those you could find yourself very quickly a victim of financial fraud.

Many people have been sorting out their tax credits having received renewal packs through the post in recent weeks.

Neil Munroe, external affairs director at Equifax, said the timing of the scam was cynical.

'If you were worried about money and then got the e-mail you might think all your prayers had been answered,' he said. However, tax rebates are usually given at the end of the financial year in April.

Mr Munroe urged people to double-check with the tax authority if they were unsure about any documentation they had received.

Other tips to prevent becoming a victim of this or similar frauds include installing virus protection software on computers, having a range of passwords, and destroying the hard drive on old computers.

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