We recommend that you are always vigilant when it comes to the risk of scams and phishing. To help, please see the current list of tactics provided by HMRC of known scams.
- Tax refund and rebate emails
HMRC will not contact you via email to organise a tax rebate. Some of the known email addresses to distribute this scam are:
Although HMRC does occasionally issue text messages, it will not request personal or financial information.
The text message scam may offer a tax refund and request personal or financial details in return. Should you receive one, do not use the link and do not respond.
To help HMRC with further investigations you could forward the message to 60599 (charges will apply) or email firstname.lastname@example.org before you delete.
Another known phishing scam is sent in the form of an email with a request to download a PDF attachment. Once opened, the PDF will follow a link to a phishing site and request personal and financial information. It is recommended not to open the PDF and that you forward the email to email@example.com and delete the original. Please visit the link to see more detailed examples of this scam.
This particular scam has been targeting landlords whom are living abroad. The request is for the form to be completed and returned by email/fax/letter and asks for personal information.
Form titles used in this scam have included:
- Application for a tax-free account and to receive rental income without deduction of tax for Non-UK Residents
- Application for Withholding Certificate for Dispositions by Foreign Persons of UK Real Property Interests
These forms are not issued by HMRC and should not be completed. Your personal information will never be requested via email or fax.
If you have received any forms that you are unsure of, please do not hesitate to contact us for clarification.
A recent scam has been identified on Twitter whereby direct messages are sent offering a tax refund. These messages were not from genuine HMRC social media accounts, and in any circumstances HMRC would not contact individuals via social media to issue a refund.
To authenticate a HMRC social media account, forward the account link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are numerous scams which send out emails and text messages advertising their services to contact HMRC to organise a tax rebate for no fee. HMRC warn that these companies are not connected with HMRC and to check small print in such circumstances.
These emails inform you that goods you own have been held by customs and require payment before they can be released. The emails may also appear as though sent from a genuine member of the HMRC team. To have an email verified, forward to email@example.com.
The following items have been included in previous 419 scam emails:
- lottery winnings
- prize money
- seized goods or packages (held by customs and excise)
- inheritance payments
This is a widely reported scam which often targets the elderly and the more vulnerable.
The phone calls or voicemails claim to be from HMRC and request banks details, or other personal information, to receive tax advice or a refund.
Other calls have issued a warning that HMRC is filing a lawsuit against the recipient and a payment must be made immediately.
HMRC recommend that if you cannot verify the identity of the caller, not to liaise any further. Contact the Action Fraud department you have been affected.
Apple iTunes gift card scam
Apple support has reported repeated scams whereby people are asked to make payments over the phone for items including utility bills, hospital bills, bail money and taxes. Although these scams have been committed using various methods, they have also included iTunes gift cards.
Apple have highlighted the following process for customers to be aware of to avoid the scam:
‘The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing iTunes Gift Cards from the nearest retailer (convenience store, electronics retailer, etc.). After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.’
Apple has stated in the report that iTunes gift cards can only be used to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store. If you are approached to use the cards for payment outside of iTunes, it is likely to be a scam. The recommendation is to report it to Action Fraud.