HMRC issue urgent tax scam warning – savers urged to look out for refund & rebate offers
Martin Lewis shares tips for checking scams
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HMRC issued a warning on tax themed scams today and it urged savers to review its “scams checklist” to ensure they’re not caught out. As the official HMRC twitter account detailed: “We’re always detecting new tax scams.
“Beware of fraudsters offering ‘refunds’ or ‘rebates’.”
HMRC went on to link to its guidance on how people can identify tax related scam phone calls, emails and text messages.
This guidance identifies a checklist people can follow to decide if the contact they’ve received is a scam.
This checklist can be used for all forms of digital contact.
HMRC detailed contact through phone calls, emails and text messages could be a scam if it:
- Is unexpected
- Offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
- Asks for personal information like bank details
- Is threatening
- Tells a person to transfer money
On top of these, HMRC highlighted other key signs to look out for.
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Suspicious phone calls
HMRC explained consumers “can be sure” it will:
- Only ever call you asking about a claim or payment on a debt that you already know about
- Never leave a voicemail threatening legal action
- Never give the reason for a call on a voice message
WhatsApp messages and gift or payment vouchers
HMRC detailed if a person receives “any communication” through Whatsapp claiming to be from the organisation it will be a scam.
These messages should be screenshotted and forwarded as an email to be reported.
Additionally, HMRC stressed it will “never ask you to pay with gift or payment vouchers.”
Should a person already have shared personal details with a scammer, they can report disclosure of personal information to the HMRC security team.
If a person has been the victim of a scam and has suffered financial loss, they should report it directly to Action Fraud.
The contact details for the HMRC security team and Action Fraud can be found on their respective websites.
Unfortunately, this guidance will likely be needed now more than ever for some people as scammers have been known to take advantage of coronavirus themed difficulties.
Indeed, recent YouGov research showed as many as one in four Britons receive scams every day (25 percent) rising to one in three Britons aged over 65 (31 percent).
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