Be aware of scams
Earlier this week, one of our clients phoned us because she received a phone call from a scammer acting as an employee of HMRC telling her she would get arrested if she was not paying her tax now. Thankfully, she ignored their threats, hung up and phoned us to tell us her story. The following morning on BBC news the presenters were talking about pension scams that were occurring. As we care about you, here's some information to help you to recognise and avoid scams.
How does it work ?
Scams often start with an unexpected phone call, email or text offering money or threatening immediate financial penalties. By example, the scammer will phone and tell you that you are late in paying your tax and to avoid a fine or imprisonment you need to pay immediatly. Another kind of scams could be a cold call from a somebody selling you a free review of your pension.
Unfortunately, thieves will typically target vulnerable and elderly people, but no one is safe from these kinds of fraud. HMRC revealed it received 84,549 reports of fraudulent tax refund messages in March 2018 alone (Action Report, 2018).
Here's some tips to detect a scam
HMRC will never email, text or phone you suddenly about a tax matter or a penalty.
In no occasion will HMRC ask you your personal or payment information.
If it is an email, verify the email address and if the information in the email are matching what is written on the official government website. Don't follow the website link in the email, search on Google to find the official one.
If the person on the line is pressuring about a service they are selling or making incredible promises about pension or tax, don't trust them and hung up.
For more information about scams and to see examples of each kind, please consult the HMRC website by clicking here
What to do if it happens to you ?
You can report something suspicious to HMRC phishing team to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you think you have shared personal information to a scammer, contact the security team at HMRC email@example.com.
You can find more information by visiting their website.