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Self-employed workers claiming vital SEISS grants issued HMRC warning as NEW SCAM surfaces

Self-employed workers were issued a warning by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as NEW SCAMS targeting workers claiming vital financial support surface.

The scams target people eligible for the forthcoming Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Applications for the latest SEISS have opened this week and are set to run through to 1 June 2021.

The warning, which focuses on a passport and driving licence scam, was posted on social media yesterday.

A spokesperson from HMRC said: “We’re aware of a scam targeting the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. It requests personal info e.g. from a passport or Driving Licence, to obtain a ‘SEISS tax refund’.

“This is a scam – delete the message.”

The warning to hundreds of thousands of people making a SEISS claim also provided more information and a checklist on how to spot scams.

HMRC are urging workers to follow a checklist to decide if the contact they’ve received is a scam. The checklist can be used for phone calls, emails and text messages.

The checklist says the message could be a scam if it:

  • is unexpected

  • offers a refund, tax rebate or grant

  • asks for personal information like bank details

  • is threatening

  • tells you to transfer money.

HMRC also offer more help and list examples of HMRC related phishing emails and bogus contact . There’s also a list of genuine HMRC contact and campaigns to help check and decide if the message received is genuine.

Workers receiving suspicious phone calls can be sure that HMRC will:

  • only ever call asking about a claim or payment on a debt that you already know about

  • never leave a voicemail threatening legal action

  • never give the reason for a call on a voice message.

If anyone receives any communication through WhatsApp claiming to be from HMRC it’s a scam. Take a screenshot and forward it as an email.

HMRC will never ask anyone to pay with gift or payment vouchers.

If a worker has already shared personal details they can report a disclosure of personal information to the HMRC security team.

If they have been a victim of a scam and suffered financial loss, they are urged to report it to Action Fraud.

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