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HMRC warns against sharing

HMRC warns individuals against sharing their personal information online.

Criminals are attempting to obtain sensitive information including Government Gateway logins and personal information to register for self assessment. Once registered bogus tax returns will be submitted and refunds pocketed.

Fraudsters are targeting teenagers to pensioners across social media platforms with a view to ‘borrowing’ their identities to submit the fraudulent claims.

Handing over sensitive personal information to criminals like this, even inadvertently, risks individuals involving themselves in tax fraud. Individuals may have to pay back the full value of the fraudulent claim.

The message is to deal with HMRC directly or through tax advisor in relation to their Self Assessment tax refunds.

Those who get involved risk becoming the victim of blackmail, threats of violence and wider abuse of their personal information, as criminals seek to exploit them further.

I urge anyone who may be aware of these dishonest attempts to recruit individuals into criminality, to report it us by searching ‘Report Fraud HMRC’ on GOV.UK and completing our online form.

Simon Cubitt, Head of Cybercrime HMRC

In addition to their Government Gateway credentials further information may be requested to pass security checks when logging on to HMRC.

HMRC is working with other law enforcement agencies and social media companies to tackle criminality on online platforms.

Last month (10 February), HMRC made coordinated arrests as part of an investigation into suspected Self Assessment repayment fraud and money laundering offences. Investigations are ongoing.

The National Cyber Security Centre has guides on staying secure online or contact AJR & Co Ltd for self assessment guidance.