Self Assessment being targeted by scammers warns HMRC

Self assessment customers are advised to remain vigilant against fraudulent texts, emails, and phone calls.

This cautionary message arises as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has received over 130,000 reports regarding tax scams in the period of 12 months leading up to September 2023.

Out of these reports approximately 58,000 involved the offering of fake tax rebates.

Considering that an estimated 12 million individuals are anticipated to submit their self assessment tax returns for the 2022 to 2023 tax year before the deadline of January 31, 2024, scammers will exploit unsuspecting customers by posing as representatives of HMRC.

Scammers are employing various tactics with some promising tax refunds, while others coerce individuals into updating their tax information or make threats of immediate arrest for alleged tax evasion.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

“HMRC is reminding customers to be wary of approaches by fraudsters in the run up to the Self Assessment deadline. Criminals are great pretenders who try and dupe people by sending emails, phone calls and texts which mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.”

During the period of September 2022 to September 2023, HMRC has addressed approximately 60,000 instances of telephone scams and successfully eliminated 25,000 malicious web pages.

These figures show how much effort HMRC is making and the scale of the problem at the same time.

Unexpected contact from HMRC should set alarm bells ringing so take your time before taking any action and you can refer to HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK when you need to.

If you receive any suspicious communications purporting to be from HMRC, there are several ways you can report them.

To report suspicious texts, simply forward them to 60599. For suspicious emails, forward them to [email protected].

Finally if you receive any tax scam phone calls you can report them to HMRC on GOV.UK.

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