HMRC has warned its tax credit customers to be aware that they may be targeted by scams as they approach the deadline for renewing their claims.
More than a million referrals relating to “suspicious contacts” were made to HMRC during the 12 months prior to the end of April 2021, with more than half a million of those potential scams being based on bogus offers of tax rebates.
HMRC has issued its warning at the same time as annual tax credit renewal packs are being sent out across the UK and as the July 31 deadline for applications approaches.
A key aspect of the Revenue’s warning to tax credit customers is that fraudsters are usually aiming to access people’s personal details to carry out their scams, so no such details should ever be easily parted with by consumers.
Often the scams in question will involve text messages but they can also be based around phone calls, emails or bogus websites.
The volume of scams being attempted across the country is understood to have risen sharply over the course of the past year, so HMRC is advising people to be particularly vigilant, especially if they’re planning to renew their tax credits in the coming weeks.
“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,” explained Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services.
“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’.”
In addition to its warnings on potential scams, HMRC has been keen to stress how “quick and easy” it now is for anyone renewing their tax credit claims to do so entirely via its online portals.
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