HMRC warns about fraudsters in run up to 31 January deadline

Jan 11, 2021

HMRC has warned people filing self-assessment tax returns against falling victim to criminals. The 31 January 2021 deadline for filing 2019/20 return is currently unchanged.

The tax authority has found that people doing their self-assessment return are targeted at this time of year before the deadline on 31 January 2021 and as the department issues thousands of SMS messages and emails as part of its annual Self-Assessment tax return push.

“In the last 12 months, HMRC has responded to more than 846,000 referrals of suspicious HMRC contact from the public, and reported over 15,500 malicious web pages to internet service providers to be taken down. Almost 500,000 of the referrals from the public had offered bogus tax rebates.

The HMRC news release can be seen here -  https://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/hm-revenue-customs-hmrc/pressreleases/self-assessment-customers-warned-about-scammers-posing-as-hmrc-3051479?utm_campaign=send_list 

HMRC’s advice:

If someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax, or asks for bank or other personal details, it might be a scam. Check GOVUK for our scams checklist and for how to report tax scams

Stop:   

  • Take a moment to think before parting with your information or money.   
  • Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.

Challenge:   

  • It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests - only criminals will try to rush or panic you.  
  • Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.    

 Protect:  

  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.   
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud.”