Businesses across the county are being warned about a new email tax scam which is being run by criminals posing as Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Fraudulent emails are requesting that the reader supplies financial information, such as their bank account number. Brian King, partner at Banbury-based finance firm Ellacotts, said: "The most important thing to remember is that no reputable company or organisation ever requests sensitive information via an email.

"This is true whether you are talking about personal emails or those sent to a company.

"Many individuals become victims of crime every year when they reply to bogus emails apparently sent from their bank, and this is the same principle."

The latest cons, which are aimed at businesses, claim to be from Revenue departments such as the Inland Revenue Board, the Inland Revenue Customs Board and Inland Tax Clearance.

Mr King added: "The departments referred to are all fake and do not even exist. So if you do receive any emails claiming to be from the Revenue which you find at all suspicious, please contact your accountants so they can advise you of any legitimate HMRC activity.

"It may also be advisable to invest in some anti-spam email software which can help filter out this sort of email."