HMRC Scams: There are people worse than HMRC trying to get your money
As you may already know, the number of Tax scams perpetrated by fraudsters are on the rise. The number of reported scams paint a rather worrying picture. More than 2.6 million phishing and scam emails were reported to HMRC within the last 3 years:
2016/17 – 921,900
2017/18 – 782,982
2018/19 – 900,000
As well as emails, taxpayers have received messages in the form of phone calls, text message and voicemails. It is the intention of fraudsters to try and obtain your personal information through promising tax repayments or by demanding payment with the threat of taking you to court.
Tax and refund rebate scams
HMRC will never send notifications via email regarding tax rebates or refunds
HMRC have advised taxpayers not to open any attachments, ensure they don’t visit the website or click any links and do not give away any personal data or payment information.
Email addresses produced by fraudsters may be spoofed to change the display name to make them seem genuine, but if you are unsure about the legitimacy of an email, you can forward it to HMRC and delete it.
HMRC ask that all phishing emails are reported – you can send them to email@example.com.
Social media and messaging
HMRC state they will never ask for any personal or financial information through text messages or via social media
HMRC’s official advice is that they will never offer a tax rebate or request any personal information from you over text or social media. Any message relating to these are not from a genuine HMRC social media account.
There have been some reports of social media scams relating to tax refunds, with direct messages being sent to individuals.
They advise that if you receive a message that offers a tax refund in exchange for information that you should ignore it.
Once again, you can report any suspicious phishing text message to 60599 or alternatively you can email the message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HMRC does not use WhatsApp to contact taxpayers
If you receive any communications through WhatsApp, then it is a scam.
If you wish to view some examples of fake HMRC correspondence please click here. Much of the correspondence appears to be quite convincing, when in doubt, it is worth noting that as a Bulpitt Crocker client you are not alone when trying to detect fraud. If you are ever unsure please contact a member of the team, and we will happily offer our professional opinion.
Hopefully the information above will help keep your personal information safe and out of the hands of criminals.