200% increase in HMRC ‘scam searches’

Consumer complaints site Resolver has reported a 200 per cent weekly increase in searches related to identifying HMRC scam messages.

Emails with statements such as: “We identified an error in the calculation of your tax from the last payment,” adding that hundreds of pounds are owed to the recipient are becoming more common place. This is then followed by an instruction, such as: “In order for us to return the excess payment, we need to confirm a few extra details.”

Of course, there is no money owed, and it is merely a scam – a phishing exercise – to gather banking details and then to steal money from the recipient.

“HMRC never contact customers who are due a tax refund by email. They always send letters via post,” Resolver founder James Walker explains.

“HMRC do sometimes contact you by text, but they’ll never ask for any personal details or financial information. Beware of texts directing you to follow a link.”

Should you receive related unsolicited emails and texts, you can report them to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. For more information about how to report fraud and cybercrime, visit Action Fraud.

If you have any concerns regarding your tax return or other related matters, our experts at Beavis Morgan are available to assist. We take the hassle of dealing with HMRC away from you, so you don’t need to deal directly with them. We are also able to advise on all aspects of tax whether compliance or planning.

Contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information and assistance.