Fraudsters are using a variety of approaches to get their hands on your money or gain access to your personal details or bank account.
There are currently a high number of scams where fraudsters are pretending to be HMRC and in response, HMRC has provided some information to help us identify and report these scams.
Here are some examples of the tactics fraudsters are using:
How to tell if the telephone call, email or text is fake
HMRC has provided a checklist to help you decide if the contact you have received is a scam. It applies for phone calls, emails and text messages.
HMRC says that it could be a scam if it:
What else should you look out for?
Suspicious phone calls
WhatsApp messages – If you receive any communication through WhatsApp claiming purporting to be from HMRC it’s a scam. Take a screenshot and forward it as an email. (See below for how to report this.)
Gift or payment vouchers – HMRC will never ask you to pay with gift or payment vouchers.
What to do if you think you’ve already shared personal details with a scammer
If you are concerned that you’ve given your personal details or money to a scammer, contact your bank or payment provider as soon as possible and explain.
You should be given advice on protecting your account and assistance with recovering any money you have lost.
Report suspicious HMRC emails, text messages and phone calls
HMRC is encouraging potential victims to report all HMRC related scam emails, suspicious phone calls and text messages to help with their investigations. Details of how to do this can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/reporting-fraudulent-emails
Tax phishing emails purporting to be from HMRC can happen at any time but are most common around key tax deadlines so with 31 January fast approaching it is especially important to be on your guard.
If you get a text message or email claiming to be from HMRC demanding payment or offering a ‘tax refund’ in exchange for personal or financial details, do not reply and never open any links in the message.
Report misleading websites, emails, phone numbers, phone calls or text messages you think may be suspicious to HMRC and never pay any amounts over to HMRC where details have not been provided directly by your advisors.
Get in touch if you need our advice.