The information below outlines some of the most common tax scams you need to be able to identify.
Every year, thousands upon thousands of tax related phishing emails and text messages are sent out by criminals to unsuspecting victims.
These emails and messages claim that you have paid too much tax over the past year and you’re eligible for a refund. They will push you to click on the link provided in the message which will take you to a website where you will be asked to enter your personal and bank details in order to have your refund processed. However, this website has actually been designed to capture the information you enter which can later be accessed and stolen by the fraudster controlling the malicious site.
The first and most important thing to remember is that HMRC will never contact you via email, text message or over the phone to discuss tax rebates. They will only ever contact you via post.
However, these phishing emails are always being developed by fraudsters to look more slick and sophisticated, therefore, more convincing. Despite this, there are still certain things that you can look out for which will tell you that it’s a scam.
Read our article on HMRC tax rebate phishing scams for more in-depth information on this type of scam.
Within one year (June 2017 – June 2018), HMRC requested for over 20,000 malicious websites to be taken down.
Some of these websites are designed to trick people into handing over their personal and bank details (the same websites used in phishing emails and text messages). But, others direct you to call a premium rate number which could cost you up to £3.60 per minute.
The number will take you through to HMRC eventually, but will charge you a huge amount of money which lands directly in the scammer’s pocket.
Although these fake websites can look very realistic and genuine, there are still a couple of things that you can look for to determine whether it is real or fake.
At the opposite end to tax rebate scams, fraudsters have been contacting victims via email, text message and phone calls saying they owe tax and must pay up immediately.
This scam takes a much more threatening approach with scammers saying you will be taken to court or have bailiffs sent to you if you don’t pay your tax bill.
If you owe tax, HMRC will only ever contact you by sending a P800 via post. This will state how much you owe and how it can be paid.
If you receive a phishing email or text related to HMRC, you should forward it (without clicking on any of the links) to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it. If you have received a phone call, you can send a full description of the scam (Including the date of call, phone number used and what the scammer said) to the same email address. This will help to assist with HMRC’s investigations into fraud.
Alternatively, you can report the email to Action Fraud UK.
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Last updated: 23 January 2019 | © KIS Finance 2018 |