Here is how to spot a tax deadline scammer!
Fraudsters are continuing to target taxpayers with scam emails. Despite it being Christmas, there has been an increase in scam activity. Fraudsters are targeting people in advance of the 31 January deadline for submission of Self-Assessment returns. In fact, over the last year, HMRC received more than 846,000 reports about suspicious HMRC contact.
A number of these scams purport to tell taxpayers they are due a tax rebate or tax refund from HMRC. They then ask for bank or credit card details in order to send the refund. The fraudsters use various means to try and scam people. This includes making contact by phone calls, texts or emails. Sadly, a common tactic is to threaten victims with arrest or imprisonment if a bogus tax bill is not paid immediately. There are other examples which you can read on the HMRC website here.
HMRC do have a dedicated Customer Protection team. They are there to identify and close down scams. But there are some simple things you can do to recognise the scammers signs. For example, genuine organisations like HMRC and banks will never contact customers asking for their PIN, password or bank details.
If you think you have received a suspicious call or email claiming to be from HMRC you are asked to forward the details to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599. If you have suffered financial loss you should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.