As 31 July approaches we are again warning tax credits customers to be aware of scams and fraudsters who imitate HMRC in an attempt to steal their personal information or money.
About 2.1 million tax credits customers are expected to renew their annual claims by 31 July 2022 and could be more susceptible to the tactics used by criminals who mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.
In the 12 months to April 2022, HMRC responded to nearly 277,000 referrals of suspicious contact received from the public. Fraudsters use phone calls, text messages and emails to try and dupe individuals – often trying to rush them to make decisions. HMRC will not ring anyone out of the blue threatening arrest – only criminals do that.
Typical scam examples include:
- phone calls threatening arrest if people don’t immediately pay fictitious tax owed. Sometimes they claim that the victim’s National Insurance number has been used fraudulently
- emails or texts offering spurious tax rebates, bogus COVID-19 grants or claiming that a direct debit payment has failed
If you are ever unsure whether a call is genuine or not, let the caller know that you will call back, and call us on a separate line. Even though you think the call may have terminated scammers know that if they keep the line open they can intercept your next call.
To report a phishing email, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org