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HMRC issues warning on scam communications targeting Self Assessment customers

Image credit: HMRC

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) issued a warning regarding a surge in scam texts, emails and phone calls targeting Self Assessment customers. With over 130,000 reported tax scams in the past 12 months, HMRC is urging taxpayers to stay vigilant and report any suspicious communications.

Of particular concern are the 58,000 reports of fake tax rebate offers received by HMRC in the same period. The scammers are taking advantage of the upcoming deadline, with an estimated 12 million individuals expected to submit their Self Assessment tax returns for the 2022 to 2023 tax year before 31 January 2024.

Impersonating HMRC, the fraudsters employ various tactics to deceive taxpayers. Some lure victims with promises of tax rebates, while others claim that taxpayers need to update their tax details urgently. Additionally, some scammers resort to intimidation, threatening immediate arrest for alleged tax evasion.

To address this issue, HMRC is encouraging affected taxpayers to report any suspicious communications. Texts claiming to be from HMRC can be forwarded to 60599, while suspicious emails should be forwarded to Tax scam phone calls can be reported to HMRC through the official website, GOV.UK.

Over the past year, HMRC have responded to 60,000 reports of phone scams and successfully taken down 25,000 malicious web pages.

Taxpayers are advised to exercise caution and verify the authenticity of any communication they receive from HMRC. They should refrain from clicking on any suspicious links or disclosing personal information, including bank details, over the phone or in response to unsolicited emails.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “HMRC is reminding customers to be wary of approaches by fraudsters in the run up to the Self Assessment deadline. Criminals are great pretenders who try and dupe people by sending emails, phone calls and texts which mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.

“Unexpected contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so take your time and check HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK.”


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