Have you ever received a text message which is similar to the below examples?
If so, then you might have been targeted by a tax refund and rebate scheme. Fraudsters frequently send phishing text messages claiming to be from HMRC detailing that you are eligible for a tax refund.
We often receive calls from concerned clients informing us that they have received a text message or an email informing them that they are due a refund from HMRC. We tell them immediately to ignore the text or email and report it to HMRC. It is important to note the following:
- HMRC will never send notifications by email about tax rebates or refunds.
- HMRC will never use ‘WhatsApp’ to contact customers about a tax refund.
- HMRC never uses social media to offer a tax rebate and/or request personal or financial information.
These official statements of HMRC can also be found on their website where they state very clearly that they do not send any emails, texts or messages regarding tax rebates/refunds to the taxpayer.
It is worth mentioning that genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact people to ask for their PIN, password or bank details. HMRC does not offer tax refunds by text message or by email.
There have also been instances where clients have received telephone calls from someone purporting to be a HMRC officer who threatens to appoint bailiffs or issue an arrest warrant, should the client fail to make an immediate payment to them by using a money transferring agent. HMRC have confirmed that this is a scam and have advised that the call should be ended immediately.
Further instances have been reported on Twitter where people have received direct messages offering a tax refund.
- Should you receive such an email or text then, do not click on any links, open any attachments and more importantly do not disclose any personal/payment information.
- Do not disclose your PIN, password or bank details to anyone over the phone.
- If in doubt, contact your accountant.
Finally, to report suspicious activity and likely scams:
- Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599.
- Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report any suspicious calls or visit their website