HM Revenue & Customs have reminded Self Assessment taxpayers to watch out for fraudsters as the tax return filing deadline of 31 January approaches.
HMRC say they have received nearly 900,000 reports of suspicious phone calls, texts or e-mails from scammers pretending to be the tax authority. Most of these messages were about fake tax refunds which would ask the victim to visit a bogus website where bank details would be stolen.
In other cases, people are threatened with owing made-up tax liabilities which if not paid immediately serious consequences such as imprisonment would follow. The fear this creates is intended to rush you into paying the swindler’s demands without thinking it through.
HMRC advise taxpayers to recognise the signs of these tax scams to avoid becoming victims. Genuine phone calls and messages will never ask for your PIN, passwords or bank details. If you are not expecting a text or e-mail do not reply, click on any links or download any attachments.
You can report any suspicious calls or e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599.
If you are a client of Whiting & Partners, please feel free to ask your usual contact about any HMRC messages or phone calls you are unsure of.