Recently many people have been receiving suspicious telephone calls and text messages claiming to be from HMRC. These calls and messages request personal information in order to receive a tax refund, demand money, or to even inform you that HMRC are filing a lawsuit against you. HMRC say that they will never call you to tell you that you owe money, unless they are asking for payment on a debt that you are already aware of.
Protecting yourself from scam calls
To ensure that you do not fall victim to scam calls you should follow the guidance below:
- Recognise The Signs – HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for you PIN, password or bank details. This does not just apply to HMRC, other organisations such as your bank will also not contact you requesting personal information over the phone
- Stay Safe – Don’t give out private information, reply to text messages click on email links you weren’t expecting, or download attachments
- Tax Action – Forward suspicious email and details of call claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599
Examples of HMRC related phishing emails and contact can be found here.
Suffered financial loss due to a scam?
If you have suffered financial loss, you should report this to Action Fraud. You can call them on 0300 123 2040 between Monday – Friday, 09:00 – 18:00. You can also access the online form here
Genuine contact from HMRC about Coronavirus
Contact from HMRC has increased recently due to Coronavirus. A few examples of genuine forms of contact include:
- Phone calls to Job Retention Scheme claimants affected by Coronavirus – HMRC is calling some employers to discuss their claims, check they have not made any mistakes and to help make sure they claim the correct amount
- Email about surveys for government support for self-employed people affected by Coronavirus – In July 2020, customers may receive an email from Ipsos MORI inviting them to take part in an online survey. This survey is for those who applied for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
- SMS text message campaign about GOV.UK Coronavirus Alert – You may receive a text from UK.Gov with the title GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT. These messages do not ask you to reply or give out any personal or financial information. The message will have a link which will direct you to the GOV.UK website and give you information on what you need to do during the coronavirus outbreak.
More examples of genuine HMRC contact can be found here.