HMRC issues springtime tax scam warning


HMRC is warning taxpayers about an expected increase in the number of tax rebate scams sent during April and May 2019.


Legitimate tax rebates are processed by HMRC at this time of year, but fraudsters often take advantage of that by posing as the tax authority in scam emails or texts.


If the scam victim clicks the link in the email or text, they will be taken to a legitimate-looking fake government website where they will be asked to enter sensitive information such as bank details.


In March, April and May 2018, HMRC received around 250,000 reports of tax scams, and made more than 6,000 requests to have fake websites shut down.


HMRC said young people who may have less experience of the tax system should be especially vigilant, and look out for the signs of a scam. As younger adults typically manage their finances on their smartphone, they can be more susceptible to an approach via a text message.


HMRC state that if you have paid too much tax, HMRC will issue the repayment automatically either direct into your bank account or by sending you a cheque. In the case of underpayments of tax, HMRC will tell taxpayers how much they owe and how to pay securely. 


Anyone receiving a suspicious email is advised to forward it to and contact Action Fraud if they have suffered financial loss. More information on HMRC scams can be found on the Government website