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HMRC responds to more than one million referrals of suspicious contact

HMRC scams increased dramatically during lockdown and continue to be a concern.


A scam warning has been issued to tax credits claimants over fraudsters posing as HMRC.


It has been revealed that in the 12 months to April 30, 2021, HMRC responded to more than one million referrals of suspicious contact from worried members of the public and small business owners.


It will come as no surprise that scammers and fraudsters frequently claim to be HM Revenue and Customs as a way of scaremongering. They often pose as the real deal and use demanding and authoritative tactics in an attempt to dupe unwitting recipients.


There was an alarming rise of scam calls, texts and e-mails during the coronavirus crisis. Some scam calls even threatened the receiver with a warrant for their arrest if a sum of money was not paid.



Scammers used a combination of savvy tricks and the knowledge that many people were housebound during lockdown measures. It’s throughout these restrictions that scams have increased dramatically.


Common scams included Royal Mail delivery scams, Hermes parcel scams, scams relating to high street banking giants like HSBC and Natwest and the aforementioned phone call threatening police action.


New figures have revealed that in the 12 months to April 30, HMRC responded to more than 1,154,300 referrals of suspicious contact from the public.


Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: "We're urging all of our customers to be really careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or bank details.


"There are a lot of scams out there where fraudsters are calling, texting or emailing customers claiming to be from HMRC.


"If you have any doubts, we suggest you don’t reply directly, and contact us yourself straight away.


"Search gov.uk for our ‘scams checklist’ and to find out ‘how to report tax scams'."

Reporting


Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).

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