Fraudulent contacts, scams and spoofed messages continue to plague those filing their taxes and using HMRC to claim grants as the Coronavirus pandemic winds down.
What a scam might look like
If you are concerned about scam contacts masquerading as HMRC, here are some things you should look out for:
- The contact asking for money from your or your financial information.
- The contact offering refund or financial aid, which will lead to them asking for your personal information.
- The contact directly asking for personal information such as your phone number or financial details.
Check that you are in contact with HMRC
HMRC will only contact you to discuss payments if you have previous knowledge of the subject, usually found out about through a letter to your tax account.
If in doubt about receiving an email, phone call or other form of contact, go to HMRC directly and check with them, or go to GOV.UK and search "HMRC scams" to identify if you are being targeted.
Avoiding being scammed
Think twice before discussing money, your financial information or your personal information. Scammers not only want to directly get money from you, but they will also take and sell your personal information to other scammers.
If you are being phoned, do not automatically trust caller ID as it can be spoofed. If you were given links or downloads in a suspicious email that you weren't expecting, do not click them. It is fine to reject, ignore and refuse requests as only scammers will try and rush you with threats of prosecution or fines.
What do to about scams
Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org or text 60599 to report what you think is a scam. If you received a phone call from a potential scammer, report it on GOV.UK.
If you have given personal information to a suspicious contact, contact the HMRC security team with details about what you disclosed but do not give them any of your personal details.
For more information, see HMRC's official scams briefing.