HMRC tax warning as millions of Brits told to stay vigilant over ‘fake refunds’

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned millions of Brits to stay vigilant of scams.

It comes as the government body received more than 130,000 reports of fraud from September 2022 to September 2023. And 58,000 of those were offering unsuspecting Brits fake tax rebates.

Fraudsters will find anyway to steal your money, whether it's from scam texts, emails or even phone calls. Now as the Self-Assessment tax return deadline draws closer, HMRC warned of fake messages.

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Those who need to submit tax returns have until January 31, 2024, to get their forms in. And scammers are using the deadlines to their advantage.

Other popular methods of trickery include asking customers to update their tax details or even threatening with arrest. HMRC told Brits to make sure they know who they're talking to before giving any information.

Myrtle Lloyd, the Director General for Customer Services, said: "HMRC is reminding customers to be wary of approaches by fraudsters in the run up to the Self-Assessment deadline.

"Criminals are great pretenders who try and dupe people by sending emails, phone calls and texts which mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.

"Unexpected contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so take your time and check HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK."

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If you're ever in doubt, you can report any concerning correspondence to HMRC by forwarding scam texts to 60599 and sending any suspected emails to phishing@[email protected].

You can also report any fake calls to HMRC via the government website. HMRC said it has dealt with 60,000 of these as the tax office will never ask for personal information over the phone or email.

It said it's already managed to get 25,000 malicious web pages taken down over the last year. Contact HMRC directly if you feel like something isn't quite right.

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