HMRC is warning taxpayers to be extra vigilant after a high number of springtime refund scams.
During April and May, fraudsters posed as HMRC offering refunds to taxpayers by email or text; encouraging people to provide bank details, in exchange for a payment worth hundreds of pounds.
Last Spring alone, HMRC received around 250,000 reports of tax scams — which is nearly 2,500 a day — and requested that over 6,000 phishing websites be deactivated.
HMRC is warning young adults and the elderly, who may have less experience of the tax system, to be extra vigilant.
“We are determined to protect honest people from these fraudsters who will stop at nothing to make their phishing scams appear legitimate,” said Angela MacDonald, head of customer services at HMRC.
“HMRC is currently shutting down hundreds of phishing sites a month.
“If you receive one of these emails or texts, don’t respond and report it to HMRC so that more online criminals are stopped in their tracks.”
Peter Way-Rider, tax manager at Ellis & Co added: “HMRC will never send notifications of a tax rebate or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email or text message.”
Forward suspicious emails and details of suspicious phone calls to HMRC’s phishing team: email@example.com
Forward suspicious text messages to 60599, text messages charged at your network rate.
Further guidance from HMRC can be found here.