Posted on 22nd February 2017
We are teaming up with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to raise awareness after NHS members are conned out of tax rebates.
The NFIB has received reports of NHS members being targeted by fraudulent tax rebate companies, purporting to obtain a tax rebate on the victim’s behalf. However, once the company obtains the refund, no funds are provided to their customer, leaving victims more £34,000 out of pocket.
Information suggests that the companies have managed to gain access to NHS practices or 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.
The companies request the victim to sign forms which give them permission to liaise with HMRC on their behalf, stating their fee will be charged to the rebate received.
HMRC have confirmed that they have issued refunds to the companies in relation to requests received and authorised by the staff member.
Once the refund is obtained all contact with the companies are broken and the victim does not receive their rebate.
Tax rebate fraud does not only affect NHS staff but can also affect many organisations, including airline staff and teachers. Anyone can be targeted by this type of fraud.
Top tips for protecting yourself against this fraud include:
- Do research online to ensure the company is reputable by checking the registration details are correct and by viewing 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.
If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting their website here
For more advice around fraud, visit the dedicated Stamp out Fraud webpage here