HMRC issue warning over tax rebate scams
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is urging consumers to stay alert to new and sophisticated tactics used by fraudsters.
The organisation warn that criminals are increasingly using digital correspondence to manipulate taxpayers, with scam emails and SMS-messages among the most common methods used. Once contacted, they trick the individual into believing they have a tax rebate, persuading them to disclose their personal contact or bank details.
Reminding consumers of the legitimate way that HMRC will get in touch was Mel Stride MP. The Treasury Minister and financial secretary to the Treasury said: ‘HMRC only informs you about tax refunds through the post or through your pay via your employer. All emails, text messages, or voicemail messages saying you have a tax refund are a scam. Do not click on any links in these messages, and forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address and phone number.
‘We know that criminals will try to 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.’
In order to help prevent attacks and mitigate the impact, HMRC provides the following guidance:
- recognise the signs – genuine organisations, such as banks and HMRC, will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details
- stay safe – do not give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting
- take action – forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to [email protected] and texts to 60599, or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report any suspicious calls or use its online fraud reporting tool
- check Gov.uk for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact