HMRC have publicised details of a telephone scam which could be targeted at contractors and small business owners. The fraudsters have been calling taxpayers posing as members of HMRC staff. HMRC have received several reports about this scam where taxpayers were asked to provide the caller with their bank account details in .order that a tax rebate could be paid in.
HMRC also stated that taxpayers have been receiving an increasing number of phishing emails. These emails claim to be from HMRC and often they have been sent from a plausible-looking email but their sole purposes to obtain personal info, mainly bank details. These are then used to empty victim’s bank accounts. Despite 180 websites responsible for these emails having been shut down by the relevant authorities over the past quarter, more keep appearing.
Director of customer contact at HMRC, Chris Hopson, confirmed that they would only ever confirm a tax refund by post – never by email or telephone. He concluded: “We only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. We never use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances. We strongly urge anyone receiving such a phone call not to give any information to the caller, but report it to the police straight away. If customers receive an email claiming to be from HMRC, we recommend they send it to us for investigation before deleting it permanently.”