During April and May, fraudsters regularly shower taxpayers with refund scams by email or text pretending to be HMRC. This is cleverly timed to coincide with legitimate rebates being processed by HMRC following the January tax return submissions and the end of the tax year.
HMRC says these messages include spoofed calls, voicemails and text messages. They are designed to encourage people to provide bank details, in exchange for a payment worth hundreds of pounds, on a fake government website to harvest private information and steal money.
Particularly thought to be at risk this year are younger tax payers, who are less likely to be aware of the scams and are more likely to use text and email communications via their smart phones.
In the 12 months to February 2019 HMRC received 73,382 reports of suspicious HMRC phone calls, and asked phone carriers to remove more than 400 unique numbers associated with scams.
So, please be vigilant. HMRC will never ask someone to provide bank details by text or by email.
If you have paid too much tax, HMRC will issue the repayment automatically either direct into your bank account or if they have indicated on their tax return there is no bank account then HMRC will send a cheque.
In the case of underpayments of tax, HMRC will tell taxpayers how much they owe and how to pay securely.
For more information, contact Lesley Sutton on 01484 550037 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.