HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued a scam warning after receiving more than one million reports of “suspicious contact” from members of the public in the last year.
Unsuspecting people may share their personal details and even transfer money to fraudsters posing as HMRC officials who get in touch via call, text, or email.
In the 12 months to 30 April, HMRC responded to 1,154,300 reports, 576,960 of which related to bogus tax rebates.
In the same period, HMRC worked with telecoms companies and Ofcom to remove over 3,000 malicious telephone numbers, and internet service providers took down over 15,700 malicious web pages.
HMRC responded to 443,033 reports of phone scams in total, up 135% on the previous year.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “We’re urging all of our customers to be really careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or bank details.”
Lloyd also urged people with doubts to contact HMRC straight away.
If you’re contacted by phone, text or email, it could be a scam if it:
- is unexpected
- offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
- asks for personal information like bank details
- is threatening
- tells you to transfer money
The deadline to renew your tax credits is 31 July 2021, and if you have not already received your renewal pack by today (4 June) you may need to get in touch with HMRC.
Customers also have until 31 July to notify HMRC of any change in circumstances that could affect their claims.
You can renew your tax credits online at GOV.UK or on the HMRC app.
If you have been targeted by a fraudster, report it to HMRC by clicking here.
To see examples of these scams and to learn more, click here.