Action Fraud: How to spot HMRC Scam

Luring victims by tricking them into believing they are owed hundreds of pounds in tax refunds, a new HMRC scam has been identified by the charity Action Fraud. Action Fraud have revealed that the scammers are seeking to exploit vulnerable people by offering financial help following the Covid-19 pandemic. Posing as HMRC officials, fraudsters are contacting members of the public by email. As part of the scam, people are being informed that they are due a tax refund, worth up to several hundred pounds. The scam has been confirmed to be false by both Action Fraud and HM Revenue and Customs.

The scam basically consists of the criminals seeking to garner people’s bank and identification details. Victims receive an email which purports to be from HM Revenue and Customs in which they are told they are due a tax refund of a certain amount. To claim the tax refund, victims are informed they must confirm their bank and identity details. By handing over this information, scammers may be able to access the funds in the victims’ accounts. Action Fraud have reminded people that HM Revenue and Customs will never contact the public by text, email or phone to request bank details, PINs or passwords.

The Action Fraud charity has further advised that people must avoid clicking on links provided in suspicious emails, as they could compromise the security on their device. Furthermore, people are reminded to never provide any form of bank details, in response to an email, regardless from whom it may appear to be. Also, people should not respond to anyone asking for photographic confirmation of their identity by way of email. To avoid the risk posed by these emails, junk folders should be activated, suspicious emails are to be deleted immediately and suspicious contacts should also be blocked.