A BRADFORD pensioner is warning other people in the district to remain vigilant and not fall prey to a scam text scheme which targeted him.

Michael Dawkins, 70, from Fairweather Green, received a text message purporting to be from HM Revenue & Customs, telling him he was due a tax rebate.

The text read: “A tax rebate of £265.84 has been issued to you for an over-payment in the year 2016.”

There was then an internet link in the text message which took Mr Dawkins to a webpage with a series of boxes to fill, which the text said would “begin the refund process”.

On the webpage, the scam asked for personal details including name, address, date of birth, and bank card details, with a ‘submit’ button at the bottom.

Mr Dawkins said opening the link also put a virus on his phone.

He phoned HMRC about the text, who directed him towards the police and Action Fraud.

He said: “This is the first time it has happened to me but I know of a couple of other people who have received the same messages via email as well.

“I want to make people aware of the scam because some people are vulnerable and may fall for it. There are a lot of people at risk.

“I wouldn’t want anyone to be taken in by this and submit their personal details or anything, because once they’ve got your details they can do what they want.

I spoke to HMRC who told me to call the police, and after ringing the police I spoke to Action Fraud who have told me they are looking into it.”

A spokesman for HMRC said: “HMRC takes security extremely seriously.

“We are aware that some people have received telephone calls, or texts, from individuals claiming to be from HMRC.

“The department has a well-known brand, which criminals abuse to add credibility to their scams.

“If you cannot verify the identity of a caller or text, do not speak to them or respond.”

A spokesman for Action Fraud said it was a case of ‘smishing’ - SMS and fishing - where fraudsters fish for potential victims using text messages, hoping someone will take the bait.

She advised people who receive these messages should “never assume anyone is who they say they are”, not to give away any personal details, and when in doubt to contact the company directly to check the message’s validity.