The United Kingdom’s HMRC has issued a tax scam alert in the wake of over 81,000 tax frauds that offered fake tax rebates. The HM Revenue and Customs is the department of the UK government responsible for collecting taxes.
“In the 12 months to August 2022, HMRC responded to more than 180,000 referrals of suspicious contact from the public, of which almost 81,000 were scams offering fake tax rebates,” said an HMRC press release published on October 10.
It further stated that since self-assessment customers are more likely to be in touch with HMRC, they have to be extra vigilant of fraudulent communications reaching them in the name of the department with details of fake unpaid taxes. The deadline for filing paper tax returns for the 2021 to 2022 tax year is October 31, and for online tax return filing is January 31, 2023.
Signs of tax fraud
Warning about nearly 81,000 tax rebate scams being detected recently, the HMRC listed the modus operandi of scammers, such as sending urgent-sounding communications by email, text, or phone. The messages were about bogus tax rebates, money-back schemes, or even threats of arresting the user for tax evasion.
“Never let yourself be rushed. Asking to urgently transfer money or disclose personal information is a clear sign of it being a scammer’s ploy,” said Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC Director General for customer service, in the alert. “Making threatening calls regarding an arrest is also not something the HMRC will do,” he added.
Taxpayers were urged to forward any such message to the HMRC at 60599– or [email protected]