HMRC has seen that fraudsters are taking advantage of COVID-19 to offer spurious financial support and tax refunds. They text, email or phone taxpayers offering the bogus refund or aid, or threaten them with arrest if they don’t immediately pay fictitious tax owed. These scams often target the elderly and vulnerable.
If someone texts, emails or calls claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you are owed a tax refund or can claim financial help, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.
- Recognise the signs – genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your bank details, PIN or password.
- Stay safe – do not give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you were not expecting.
- Take action – forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing [at] hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.
- Check GOV.UK for information on how to avoid and report scams and to recognise genuine HMRC contact.
- If you think you have received an HMRC-related phishing or bogus email or text message, you can check it against examples published on GOV.UK.
- Contact your bank immediately if you believe you have submitted card details to a scammer and report to Action Fraud if you suffer financial loss.