At this time of year, when Tax is on everyone’s minds due to the January 31st deadlines, con-artists try to cash in. We’ve recently heard from many clients who have received calls and emails claiming to be collecting Tax on behalf of HMRC. We can assure you, these types of claims are fraudulent.
HMRC’s own website has excellent information on the different types of “phishing” attempts that scammers use to try to steal your money. Here are our quick tips to staying safe:
1) HMRC rarely communicate via phone. If you get a call claiming to be from HMRC, take the caller’s name and then call back using the official HMRC phone number: 0300 200 3300.
2) If you receive an email from HMRC, do not click on any links or hit “reply” to the message. Instead, hover your mouse over the sender’s address. While it might first look like it’s coming from enquiries@ hmrc.gov.uk, hovering or right-clicking on the address will reveal the real email address, which will be something far less official. Forward all phishing emails on to HMRC for investigation: firstname.lastname@example.org, then delete them.
3) HMRC will never contact you via social media to claim money or issue a Tax Rebate. Ignore, report and block all such messages.
4) Warn your elderly friends and relatives of these types of scam, as sadly they are targeted regularly.
If in doubt, talk to one of PKB’s friendly team for immediate help and advice.