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Warning over tax fraud letters

Readers are more susceptible to unfamiliar letters from French bodies, but fake HMRC demands are also circulating

THE FRENCH tax office has issued a warning over fake letters demanding bank details, while Connexion has received reports of a similar scam under the guise of the HMRC.

The direction régionale des finances publiques has issued a warning after a surge in fake letters, that increasingly direct people to enter their bank details into websites, or give them away over the phone.

The letters use familiar logos and official-looking names and signatures. Sometimes they are demanding payment, other times they are offering reimbursements.

Expats, who may not be as familiar with the look of bone-fide tax bills, are particularly vulnerable. If in any doubt, ring your local tax office, and not the number on the letter.

One key give away is if the letter demands the Card Verification Code – the three digits on the back of a card.

“This number is never asked for by the fisc,” the government warning said.

Connexion has also been told of a fraudulent letter purporting to be from the HMRC.

It asks expats to fill in extensive details, including a copy of a passport under the guise of a “Non-resident landlord scheme – Application to receive UK rental income without deduction of UK tax”.

The reader, who asked not to be named, said: “We were surprised that they asked for the form to be faxed back asap. The standard of English was not quite correct in places. However the idea of receiving our rental income with no tax deducted at source was interesting.

“I viewed the relevant form on HMRC's website and it is quite different. I rang our agent who said ‘it's a scam don't do anything. Just bin it.”

Have you received any fraudulent letters supposedly from the fisc or HMRC? Let us know on our Facebook page or news[at]connexionfrance.com

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