If you are a tax credit claimant, you should have already received your remaining annual renewal packs in the post. These packs instruct the majority of recipients to renew their tax credits by the 31st of July 2021.
This time scale means that tax credit claimants could fall victim to a new and sophisticated scam, currently operating in the UK, since they will be looking out for genuine correspondence from HMRC.
As it stands, an urgent warning has been distributed to millions, in response to this new HMRC scam, which is specifically targeted at those claiming tax credits.
This is by no means an isolated issue: new figures have revealed that from 1st of January to 30th of April 2021, HMRC responded to more than 1,154,300 reports of suspicious contact from members of the public.
For a broader insight into avoiding HMRC scammers, read our article on avoiding scammers in the digital age.
At Gow & Partners, we endeavour to shed light on such issues, while encouraging our clients to approach supposed HMRC contact with caution and vigilance at all times.
The government has warned that anyone who is carrying out their tax credits renewal and has received a tax benefits scam text, email or call, could be fooled into thinking it is from HMRC.
These scammers are attempting to fool claimants into giving them their personal details or transferring money for supposed ‘overpayments’ from HMRC.
It is important to remember that HMRC will only ever call you to ask about a claim or payment on debt if you already know about it. They will also never leave a voicemail threatening legal action, or ever give the reason for a call on a voice message.
You should approach any requests for money or personal details with extreme caution, even if it appears to be legitimate— fraudsters have been known to mimic official government messages in order to appear authentic, using HMRC branding and logos, or including links to the official HMRC address or phone number.
If you suspect you have been contacted by a scammer, HMRC advises that you abstain from responding and contact them directly instead.
You can also view examples of HMRC-related bogus contact to help you to identify a scam.
Additionally, you can view a list of genuine HMRC contacts and campaigns to sid you in identifying if the one you have received is genuine.
If you suspect that you have been scammed, you can report the incident to Action Fraud.
Meanwhile, if you’ve given away any personal information, you can report this disclosureto the HMRC security team.
If you have any questions relating to HMRC scams, or if you suspect that you may have received any form of bogus HMRC contact, you are more than welcome to contact our knowledgeable team of accountants, who can provide you with free guidance and support.