HMRC urges customers not to fall for major scam targeting millions of Brits

HMRC warns customers criminals are targeting individuals with an elaborate scam trying to take their money. Criminals try again to pose as HMRC while people start working on their tax credits.

2.1 million tax credit customers are expected to renew their annual claims by the end of July 2022, but criminals are beginning to impersonate HMRC with common tricks. Scammers leave phone calls threatening arrest if people don’t pay fictitious tax debts immediately. Sometimes they claim that the victim’s social security number was used fraudulently

Criminals also sent emails or text messages offering bogus tax breaks, fake COVID-19 grants, or claiming that a direct debit payment failed. Millions of pounds are lost every year when people fall for scammers.

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

There are many scams out there, with scammers calling, texting or emailing customers claiming to be from HMRC. If you have any doubts, we recommend that you do not answer directly and contact us immediately. Seek GOVERNMENT.UK for our ‘Fraud Checklist’ and to find out ‘how to report tax fraud’.”

HMRC has also said it will not charge customers tax credits to renew their annual claims and is also urging them to beware of misleading websites or advertisements designed to make them pay for government services that should be free , and often charging a fee for a connection to HMRC telephone helplines.

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