HMRC has issued a warning following reports that new scams have been launched in the run-up to Christmas.
A number of reports have appeared on social media about scammers trying to rip others off in untrustworthy scams.
And they follow concerns about fake Royal Mail scams and other online frauds that aim to take your money.
In fact, another woman in Bristol said her life was “completely destroyed” after scammers claimed to be from Lloyds Bank and stole money from her bank account.
Phishing attacks where thieves pretend to be from real organizations to find out your bank and other details are just one of the methods reported, the Express reports.
And it is HMRC itself – the government agency dealing with tax collection – that some fraudsters claim to represent.
One person told HMRC that they received an automatic call warning them that they would take legal action.
Another said they had received a silent call from a number similar to the one used by HMRC.
Now HMRC is warning people to beware as scammers try to steal your money in the run up to Christmas.
There are a few key signs that should be a cause for concern, so beware.
HMRC says messages are likely to be fraudulent if they:
- are unexpected
- offer a refund, tax credit or grant
- ask for personal information such as bank details
- are threatening
- tell victim to transfer money
On social media, an employee reported a worrying development that prompted HMRC’s official support service to urge them to forward the matter.
Twitter user @rossowilliams asked, “@HMRCcustomers where should someone report an outright fake email attempt to impersonate HMRC?”
In his response, HMRC Customer Support said to him, “Hi Ross, this is phishing.
“We don’t send any text messages or emails about tax refunds.
“You can forward them to the following address: [email protected]”
These kinds of scams seem to be on the rise, as other posts indicate.
User @clairywoowoo commented: “Hell, the scammers are busy today. 02093543674 just called me with a silent phone call. I understand that 0209 calls are often HMRC scams. Honestly.”
A similar sentiment was shared by @Will_Robins, who had this to say, “Ho! I just received a call from an automated voice telling me that the HMRC has taken legal action against me for tax evasion.
“So my number was leaked (not that hard, I’ve had it for years and entered many sites, it’s on my business card), & B very cheeky / lazy.”
The scam issues have arrived just as HMRC had warned.
The agency has previously issued a warning that scammers would show up as tax filing deadlines approach.
On Nov. 17, HMRC said that since it sent thousands of text messages and emails as part of its annual self-assessment tax return campaign, scammers would try to take advantage.
In the past 12 months alone, HMRC had responded to more than 846,000 referrals from suspected HMRC public contact, and reported that more than 15,500 malicious web pages to ISPs had to be removed.
About 500,000 of the public’s references related to bogus tax cuts.
HMRC said in its warning, “Many scams are aimed at customers informing them of a false ‘tax refund’ or ‘tax refund’ they owe.
“The impostors use language designed to convince them to transfer personal information, including bank account details, to claim the ‘refund’.
“Criminals will use this information to access customers’ bank accounts, trick them into paying fictitious tax bills or sell their personal information to other criminals.”
Karl Khan, HMRC’s interim director general for customer service, said: “We know that criminals are taking advantage of the self-assessment deadline to panic customers to share their personal or financial information and even pay bogus ‘tax due’.
If someone calls, email, or text who claims to be from HMRC, offers financial assistance, or asks for money, it could be a scam.
“Take a moment to think before you part with any personal information or money.”
Other organizations are also warning people to be wary in the run-up to Christmas.
Lloyds Banking Group issued a warning after a 21-year-old Bristol woman said scammers were using her credit card to the maximum and blocking her from regaining access.
It all started with a convincing looking email asking for £ 2 for a package, Bristol Live reports.
Elsewhere, Wiltshire police said the Wiltshire Times that people should keep their eyes open.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “A lot of people will turn to the internet to plan the upcoming festivities, but it’s important to remember the basics, don’t get caught by scammers looking to take advantage of the extra time we have. ”re-issue online.
“Having regular conversations with less fraudulent, often older people, could easily help prevent someone you know from falling victim to these fraudsters. Prevention is always our preferred strategy – let’s all do our part to limit these scams.”
It comes after reports of a fake Royal Mail scam.
The Accrington Observer reported that a large number of emails had been sent from the UK claiming to be from Royal Mail.
The fake emails claim that Royal Mail has tried to deliver an item without success.
The scam sees people being asked to pay a small amount, but that can lead to a huge rip off.