A coronavirus scam email has led HMRC to warn against giving personal details or clicking links in messages apparently sent from the department.
The badly-worded email says the government has announced a “new tax refund programme” to deal with the outbreak.
“You are eligible to get a tax refund (rebate) of 128.34 GBP,” it adds.
HMRC has told Yahoo News UK that recipients should use caution when being apparently contacted by HMRC and provided a safety checklist.
A spokeswoman said: “We know that scammers use events that are in the news as a hook to offer spurious tax refunds.
“They use a range of techniques, including emailing or phoning taxpayers and offering a bogus tax refund, or threatening them with arrest if they don’t immediately pay tax owed.
“These scams often target the elderly and vulnerable. We are a well-known brand, which criminals abuse to add credibility to their scams.
“If someone emails or calls you claiming to be from HMRC saying that you are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it’s a scam.”
It is the latest in a line of coronavirus-related scams as criminals attempt to play on people’s fears about the illness.
A checklist sent by HMRC says a genuine message from the department would not contact someone out of the blue asking for bank details or passwords, and that suspicious emails can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information is available on gov.uk to avoid and report scams.