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HMRC issues scam warning

HMRC has issued scam warning ahead of the 31st January 2022 self assessment deadline.

Taxpayers are being warned not to be caught out by scam emails, texts or phone calls from people impersonating HMRC.

According to the tax authority, almost 800,000 tax related scams were reported last year with nearly 360,000 bogus tax rebate referrals.

As the self assessment deadline is approaching people may expect to hear from HMRC at this time of year. This gives fraudsters an opportunity to try and steal money or personal information from unsuspecting individuals.

Approximately 4 million emails and text messages will be issued this week to self assessment taxpayers. The aim of this is to point them in the direction for support and guidance and urging them to seek support if they have difficulties paying their tax in full by January 31st.

Never let yourself be rushed. If someone contacts you saying they’re from HMRC, wanting you to urgently transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard.

HMRC will also never ring up threatening arrest. Only criminals do that.

Scams come in many forms. Some threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion, others offer a tax rebate. Contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so if you are in any doubt whether the email, phone call or text is genuine, you can check the ‘HMRC scams’ advice on Gov.UK and find out how to report them to us.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general

Fraudsters will often copy government messages to make them appear genuine and to trick unsuspecting individuals, often to get them to hand over money or personal information.

What are HMRC doing

HMRC has a dedicated team working on cyber and phone crimes. They use technology to prevent misleading and malicious communications from reaching the customer. 

According to the authority, since 2017 this has prevented 500m emails from reaching taxpayers.

HMRC is also reminding people to double check websites and online forms before using them to complete their 2020/21 tax return. 

People can be taken in by misleading websites designed to make them pay for help in submitting tax returns or charging to connect them to HMRC phone lines. 

How to report Suspicious messages

Report suspicious messages to HMRC’s phishing team, text messages to be forwarded to 60599 and emails forwarded to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk.

For advice on self assessment contact AJR & Co Ltd