Updated: Jan 18
Table of Contents
Why should you be concerned about HMRC Daily Scams?
A Scam does not affect only one person. It is like an infectious disease.
You lose your money,
the fraudsters do not declare the money illegally obtained,
they do not pay their taxes and
ultimately, some public services have to be cut or become scarce.
Action Fraud is the UK's reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. According to them, for the past 12 months since November 2020, the public has reported:
846,000 cases of suspicious contacts to Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC),
over 15,500 malicious web pages to internet service providers so that they take them down, and
some 500,000 fake tax rebates.
Don't become a statistic. I am here to equip you with as much knowledge about the thousands of HMRC Scams occurring every day.
Our video provides a summary of what you need to know about HMRC Daily Scams.
For more in-depth information, carry on reading.
What is a Scam?
A Scam is an attempt to deceive or trick someone out of something, most often, money.
How to spot HMRC Scams?
It is a scam if:
It is Unexpected; that is, you did not see it coming.
Some tax refunds, rebate or grants are offered to you.
Someone you have never seen asks you to provide your banking details.
You have to make urgent transfers of money.
You are being threatened, for example, that HMRC will seize your properties and belongings or you will go to prison.
How can scammers contact you and Solutions to avoid getting caught out?
HMRC Scams by Text
I received the above text just as I was thinking of writing this article!
Notice the telephone number used.
Go to Google and search for that telephone number. Instead of +44, enter as the number 0. So search for 07508764003.
Go to "Who Called Me". It will warn you if it is a scam and dangerous. Also, read the comments.
The HMRC Scam text also gives a short deadline to create a sense of urgency.
Note that the scammers ask you to click on a link so that they can access data on your mobile phone.
DON'T EVER CLICK ON A LINK PROVIDED IN A SCAM
HMRC Scams by Email
Such email is also known as a Cold email.
Hover over the sender's email address. HMRC's email should end with @hmrc.gov.uk. If it doesn't, then it is not a genuine email from HMRC.
You can sometimes spot spelling mistakes, or the structure of a sentence does not sound right. Most often, the scammers are not from the UK, and English is not their first language.
Once again, please do not click on any email links as they will take you to some fake websites.
HMRC will write a letter to you if you are due a Tax refund, rebate or grant.
HMRC Scams by Phone
You might receive a telephone message pretending to be from HMRC which threatens you with a lawsuit.
Check the telephone number, as explained previously.
Please do not call the telephone number left on your voicemail. Scammers may be directing you to a premium rate number.
Go to HMRC official website https://www.gov.uk. Note HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It means encrypted HTTP data is secure.
You should also see a padlock next to the above website address to indictae that your connection is secure.
Type Contact HMRC in the Gov.uk search box. It will take you to https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc. It will give you all the different ways of contacting the appropriate HMRC department.
Does HMRC contact you by phone? It is unlikely.
To obtain a tax refund or rebate, you must submit a:
Self Assessment Tax Return, or
VAT Return, or
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Grant claim
At VF Accountants, we can help you with the above documents, thereby reclaiming tax refunds where applicable.
Furthermore, log into your Personal Tax Account by going to https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account. You can check whether you are really due a tax refund or rebate without having to call HMRC.
What are the main reasons for not reporting HMRC Scams?
You may not report HMRC Scams for the following reasons:
You feel shame as you gave away your money.
You feel embarrassed that other people will think that you are stupid.
You lacked the knowledge of where to go to report such scams.
You didn't believe someone would take you seriously.
You didn't think that you needed to mention such HMRC Scams.
You had other issues going on in your life.
Why is it important to report HMRC Scams?
By reporting HMRC Scams, government officials can gather invaluable evidence. The scammers are more likely to be caught and prosecuted.
How to report HMRC Scams?
Report suspicious emails, texts and phone calls to HMRC Phishing Team by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further details, see https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing/report-hmrc-phishing-emails-texts-and-phone-call-scams.
If you are a victim of an email, text or phone fraud, report to Action Fraud. See https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ for further details.