Fraudsters often try to take advantage of the deadline for submitting tax credits renewal information. The renewals must be completed by 31 July 2021.
The fraudulent emails, texts, or calls claim to be from HMRC and often promise money back in the form of a tax rebate together with a click-through link to a replica of the HMRC website.
The messages use bogus e-mails and websites to trick taxpayers into supplying confidential or personal information. The fraudsters then try and steal personal details such as bank or credit card details of unwitting recipients who in some cases even transfer money for a bogus overpayment.
In the 12 months to 30 April 2021, HMRC responded to more than 1,154,300 referrals of suspicious contact from the public. More than 576,960 of these offered bogus tax rebates. There has also been a marked increase in phone scams over the period.
HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:
‘We’re urging all of our customers to be really careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or bank details.
There are a lot of scams out there where fraudsters are calling, texting, or emailing customers claiming to be from HMRC. If you have any doubts, we suggest you don’t reply directly and contact us yourself straight away. Search GOV.UK for our ‘scams checklist’ and to find out ‘how to report tax scams’.’