Fraudsters are continuing to target taxpayers with scam emails in advance of the deadline for submission of Self-Assessment returns for the 2021-22 tax year. In fact, in the 12 months to August 2022, HMRC received more than 180,000 reports of suspicious contact from the public, of which almost 81,000 related to bogus tax rebate referrals.
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 calls, texts or emails. In fact, fraudsters have been known to threaten victims with arrest or imprisonment if a bogus tax bill is not paid immediately.
HMRC operates a dedicated Customer Protection team to identify and close down scams but continues to advise taxpayers to identify fraud and avoid becoming victims themselves. For example, HMRC will 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 an actual financial loss, you should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.