Avoiding tax scams
Fraudsters are continuing to target taxpayers with scam emails in advance of the 31 January deadline for submission of Self-Assessment returns. In fact, over the last year, HMRC received nearly 900,000 reports about suspicious HMRC contacts.
A number of these scams purport to tell taxpayers they are due a rebate / refund of tax from HMRC and ask for bank or credit card details in order to send the fake tax refund. The fraudsters use various means to try and scam people including making contact by phone, text or email. In fact, fraudsters have been known to threaten victims with arrest or imprisonment if a bogus tax bill is not paid immediately.
HMRC’s dedicated Customer Protection team can be contacted to identify and close down scams. For example, HMRC only contact taxpayers due a refund by post and never use emails, text messages or external companies for this activity. Genuine organisations like HMRC and banks will never contact customers asking for their PIN, password or bank details.
If you think you have received a suspicious call or email claiming to be from HMRC, you are asked to forward the details to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599. If you have suffered financial loss, you should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.