Last year, HMRC was alerted to over 900,000 attempts to defraud individuals and businesses by scammers. Over two-third of these involved a promise to refund tax (let’s face it, who doesn’t want that!) and there were also around 100,000 phone scams. All of them try to get you to hand over your account details and/or direct you to a fake website. Some will claim you have an unpaid tax bill and will threaten you if you don’t cough up straight away. While this type of behaviour ought to ring alarm bells, sadly, some people get conned.
As we say in the footer of all our emails, HMRC will NEVER contact you by email regarding tax payments or repayments. This also applies to social media, like WhatsApp. And it should go without saying that you must NEVER open any suspicious emails or click on links. If you are not sure, just don’t do it!
Moreover, HMRC NEVER ask you for personal details like pin numbers or account details. If any caller does this, hang up on them – and send the details of the contact you’ve had to firstname.lastname@example.org - and you can also send scam texts to 60599.
It’s worth having a look at the government website that contains examples of scam communications, like the ones reproduced below. You can see more at this link.Finally, if you are at all unsure of any communication, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll advise you. The scammers are getting very good indeed and it’s sometimes very hard to spot whether something is genuine or not. Remember, you can always call HMRC themselves if you are unsure. It’s far, far better to be safe than sorry!
Julie Downie, Senior Accounts Manager