HMRC is warning that self assessment taxpayers are being aggressively targeted by crooks after more than 570,000 scams were reported to HMRC in the last year.
In the 12 months to January 2022, nearly 220,000 scams reported to HMRC offered bogus tax rebates.
At this time of year, self assessment customers are at increased risk of falling victim to scams, even if they don’t mention self assessment. People are easily taken in by convincing looking scam texts, emails or calls either offering a ‘refund’ or demanding unpaid tax, thinking that they are genuine HMRC communications referring to their self assessment return.
In January 2022, phone scams rose to 3,995 compared to 425 reported in April 2020.
Criminals are actively targeting unsuspecting taxpayers to try and steal money or personal information. They use phone calls, texts and emails to try and dupe citizens, and often mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:
“If someone contacts you saying they’re from HMRC, wanting you to transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard. Never let yourself be rushed, and if you’re in any doubt then check our ‘HMRC scams’ advice on GOV.UK.”