NHS employees, as well as other public and private sector staff, are being targeted by fake tax rebate firms a police agency has warned.
Action Fraud has issued a notice after firms contacted workers claiming they could get a tax rebate from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on their behalf.
These scammers use the victim’s personal details to claim cash from HMRC, before breaking all contact and making off with the money.
NHS staff are particularly vulnerable to these scams as fraudsters often target GP practices and hospitals as part of training/open days and in lunchtime meeting sessions for staff.They also advertise their services to staff members and have been known to set up stands in the reception or restaurant areas.
This enables them to talk to staff directly and convince them to hand over their details.
Fraudsters ask for authority to liaise with HMRC on the victim’s behalf, stating their fee will be charged after the rebate is received. HMRC issues the refund but the fraudsters then disappear with any proceeds.
Action Fraud says that police officers, teachers and airline staff have also been targeted in a similar way.
How to protect yourself against scammers
Action Fraud advises anyone concerned to do the following:
- Carry out research online to ensure the company is reputable - check the registration details are correct and by view feedback online.
- Do not feel pressured to sign documentation without doing some basic checks.
- Do not respond to unsolicited emails, texts or calls offering rebate services.
- Make sure that you are aware and agree to the commission that will be paid to a rebate company prior to signing any documents. You should be able to reclaim any money owed for free yourself; you don’t need to pay a third party to do it for you.