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:
offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
asks for personal information like bank details
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.