Recently, HMRC put out a statement warning young people in the UK to ‘stay vigilant’ in order to avoid being victims to tax refund scams.
HMRC warns that both young and elderly individuals tend to be targeted by criminals as they are ‘more likely to be less familiar with the UK tax system’.
In the Spring of 2018, around 250,000 reports of tax scams were received by HMRC, leading them to warn tax payers to be especially vigilant of these so-called ‘Springtime refund scams’.
Tax payers are often bombarded with refund scams during the months of April and May as criminals know that this is when HMRC processes legitimate rebates.
These scams can come in many forms, tax payers must be wary of text messages, calls, voicemails and emails that claim to be from HMRC. They are designed to recover personal and/or financial information from taxpayers.
Head of Customer Services at HMRC, Angela MacDonald commented on the issue stating, ‘We are determined to protect honest people from these fraudsters who will stop at nothing to make their phishing scams appear legitimate.’
Currently, HMRC is shutting down hundreds of phishing sites each month, they ask taxpayers not to respond to these scam emails or phone calls and to report it to HMRC so that they can be stopped.
Quote from Nigel Holland, Holland & Co. Chartered Accountants: “Please make sure that all contact received from HMRC is legitimate and not a scam. If you are contacted by one of these criminals, report it to HMRC so that they can proceed to shut them down.”