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HMRC Self Assessment scam messages offering fake tax rebates number more than 80,000 in the last year





Self Assessment customers preparing to submit annual tax forms are being urged to be on the lookout for bogus offers of money back after more than 80,000 attempts to scam people were recorded in the last year.

HMRC says out of 180,000 referrals of suspicious contact to have been sent to them in the 12 months to August - a staggering 81,000 of those investigated were offering people fake tax rebates.

Those now thinking about sending in their annual tax returns, which must be done by the end of this month for those doing so on paper and by January 31 if being completed online, should be aware they could become a target.

HMRC says it is doing all it can to close down scams
HMRC says it is doing all it can to close down scams

Criminals claiming to be from HMRC have targeted individuals by email, text and phone and alongside offers of bogus tax rebates were also threats of arrest for tax evasion.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: "Never let yourself be rushed. If someone contacts you saying they’re from HMRC, wanting you to urgently transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard.

"HMRC will never ring up threatening arrest. Only criminals do that.

"Tax scams come in many forms. Some threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion, others offer a rebate. Contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so take your time and check."

Millions of people are now preparing to submit Self Assessment forms
Millions of people are now preparing to submit Self Assessment forms

Customers can report any suspicious activity to HMRC by forwarding suspicious texts to 60599 and emails by clicking here. Any tax scam phone calls can be reported to HMRC using the online form on GOV.UK.

With millions of people expected to complete a self assessment form in the coming weeks HMRC says its dedicated Customer Protection Team is working continuously to identify and close down all the scams it sees.



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