HMRC has issued a warning ahead of the 2021-2022 self-assessment deadline, urging customers to beware of scams.
In the 12 months to August 2022, HMRC responded to over 180,000 suspicious contact referrals from the public, of which almost 81,000 were scams offering bogus tax refunds.
Criminals claiming to be from HMRC have targeted individuals via email, text and phone with their communications ranging from offering bogus tax refunds to threatening arrest for tax evasion. Contacts like these should ring alarm bells – HMRC would never call a threatening arrest.
Myrtle Lloyd, chief executive of customer services at HMRC, said: “Never get pushed around. If someone contacts you saying they are from HMRC and want you to transfer money urgently or give out personal details, be on your guard.
“HMRC will never call to threaten arrest. Only criminals do that.
“Tax scams come in many forms. Some threaten to be arrested immediately for tax evasion, others offer a rebate. Contacts like these should set off alarm bells, so take your time and check out the ‘HMRC scam advice’ on GOV.UK.
Anyone contacted by someone claiming to be from HMRC in a way that arouses suspicion is urged to take their time and review the scam advice on GOV.UK.
Customers can report suspicious activity to HMRC. They can forward suspicious texts claiming to be from HMRC to 60599 and emails to [email protected]. Any tax scam phone calls can be reported to HMRC using the online form at GOV.UK.