HMRC has issued a warning about fraudulent texts and emails, which claim the recipient is due a tax rebate in order to obtain their personal details.

The ‘phishing' scam attempts to take advantage of the fact that HMRC is currently processing income tax for 2017/18, so some individuals could receive a genuine tax refund.

However, HMRC says it will never use emails or texts to inform people about a tax rebate or penalty, or to ask for personal information.

Those genuinely due a tax rebate for 2017/18 will receive a tax calculation letter sometime between June and October.

Anyone receiving an email or text telling them they are owed a tax refund is advised not to click any links in the messages or give out personal information.

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, said:

"Criminals will try and use events like the end of the financial year, the self-assessment deadline, and the issuing of tax refunds to target the public and attempt to get them to reveal their personal data.

"It is important to be alert to the danger."