30th June 2020

NI refund scam warning

The public is being urged to stay alert over scam emails offering fake National Insurance refunds.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

CTSI is warning the public to look out for a fake National Insurance refund scam. The scam, sent via email, is designed to look like an official government department communication.

The message informs the recipient that according to their national insurance contributions, they are eligible for a tax refund as part of measures to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. The evidence CTSI has received quotes a refund of 128.34. The message asks the recipient to click a link to “claim your national insurance refund”. The link goes to a page which requests the banking details of the user which sends the data to fraudsters.

The National Insurance scam comes on the back of a similarly bogus business grant scam reported this month.

Katherine Hart, Lead Officer for Doorstep Crime at CTSI, said: “This is another email scam themed around the COVID-19 pandemic clad in government department branding. Millions of people have either been furloughed or made redundant during the lockdown, and I am concerned that some may jump at the opportunity to claim this phoney refund.

“If you receive this email, please report it to the authorities, and do not click any links contained within them.”

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