HMRC scams hit 900,000 over the last year. The number of scams where the scammer is pertaining to be from HMRC has increased yet again. Out of the 900,000 that were reported (and there will be a lot more not reported), 100,000 were phone scams and 620,000 involved bogus tax rebates.
These calls, messages and emails were promising tax refunds and, to receive it, you had to hand over your payment details. The four most popular scams are: -
· Phone Calls – fraudsters may call you offering you a tax refund, or even ask you to pay a bogus tax bill. They may even threaten you with a lawsuit, arrest or imprisonment if you don’t pay the bill straight away.
· Tax Refund – fraudsters offer a bogus refund and ask you to hand over your bank details so that they can transfer it to you. Sometimes you’ll be directed to a fake website where you can enter your details.
· Refund Companies – there are companies that say they can apply for a refund from HMRC on your behalf. But they are not official, and you should read the small print before you proceed.
· WhatsApp and social media scams – these are on the increase and HMRC confirms that they would never use social media to contact the taxpayer.
Please make sure that if you do receive a point of contact from HMRC, whether it’s a scam or not, you can check with us beforehand. If it’s obvious it’s a scam, please let us know, by forwarding the relevant information so that we can publicise it to make other clients aware.