Sidmouth tax scam warning

PUBLISHED: 15:30 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:40 18 June 2010

A SIDMOUTH man is warning people with e-mail accounts to beware of a tax scam. Dick Sidwell, 80, received an e-mail claiming to be sent from the Tax Credit Office Agent at HM Revenue & Customs based in Preston. It stated: After the last annual calculatio

A SIDMOUTH man is warning people with e-mail accounts to beware of a tax scam.

Dick Sidwell, 80, received an e-mail claiming to be sent from the Tax Credit Office Agent at HM Revenue & Customs based in Preston.

It stated: "After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of £284.23 GBP."

It goes on to give a tax refund number and asks for the attached payment form to be sent back.

Mr Sidwell, of Roselands, said: "I realised it was a scam straight away but it does look quite genuine.

"I wanted to warn other people in case they think it is real."

Bob Gaiger, of HMRC South West, said this particular scam e-mail is well known: "We never e-mail people with details of tax rebates particularly if you are asking for bank account details."

Mr Gaiger advised people, if they received an e-mail they believe to be a scam, to report it to HMRC at www.hmrc.gov.uk. Information about scams which have already been reported to HMRC also appear on the website.

* Another common scam doing the rounds is the BT phone con, where cold-callers demand bill payments and threaten to cut people off. Sidmouth Police has received another report in recent weeks, in which over £200 was taken from a resident's bank account.

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