• Electric Accountancy

HMRC records nearly one million scams

Updated: Apr 30

#HMRCscam #ScamAlert

Over the last year, HMRC has received 975,420 reports from the public about suspicious communications alleging to be from HMRC – an increase of 71% from the previous year.

Over half of these scams relate to bogus tax rebates, but there has also been a huge increase in COVID-19 scams, particularly targeted at furlough scheme recipients and businesses.

Is it an HMRC scam? Use this checklist to decide if the HMRC communication you’ve received is a scam:

  • Is it unexpected?

  • Does it offer a refund, tax rebate or grant?

  • Does it ask for personal information like bank details?

  • Is it threatening?

  • Does it tell you to transfer money?

Here’s what to do if you get any communication claiming to be from HMRC:

  1. Be vigilant – these HMRC scams are becoming very sophisticated.

  2. Take a moment to think before parting with information or money.

  3. Reject requests for information or action if the other party is trying to rush you or panic you.

  4. Always report your suspicions to HMRC

  5. Do not open attachments or click any links in any email or text message claiming to be from HMRC. These can contain malicious software or direct you to a misleading website where you are asked to disclose personal information.

  6. Delete any emails or text messages once you’ve reported them to HMRC.

Email messages

HMRC will never send you a notification by email about a tax rebate or refund.

Text messages

HMRC will never ask you for personal or financial information in a text message.

WhatsApp messages

HMRC will never use WhatsApp to contact you about a tax refund.

Social media scams

HMRC will never use social media to offer tax rebates or to request personal or financial information

Here’s some examples of HMRC scams:

  • Emails telling you to claim the SEISS grant

  • Emails with the subject line 'HMRC SEISS Tax Refund Notification'

  • Texts saying you are entitled to lockdown support funding

  • Texts saying that a Covid-payment has been issued to you by UK-Gov

  • Emails claiming HMRC has issued you with a tax refund

  • Phone calls claiming that HMRC are filing a lawsuit against you and demanding immediate payment.

Check out the HMRC website for more examples of HMRC-related phishing emails, suspicious phone calls and texts.

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