HMRC will never ask for personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, bank or credit card details in an email or text message for tax rebates, personal or payment information, or tax refunds.
Read below for some quick and valuable information to help you avoid being a victim of tax refund fraud.
What a tax refund scam is?
It is a type of financial scam in which criminals pose as government officials, such as HMRC, in order to get personal information from victims.
Scams involving tax refunds are quite common and lucrative. Most individuals would be delighted to receive their money back, which is why unethical scammers adopt this tactic.
Third companies offering you a tax refund
There are legitimate firms that will file a tax refund claim on your behalf. However, you should keep in mind that this isn’t always the case. They usually impose a fee that is proportional to the magnitude of the return.
Unfortunately, there are occasions where HMRC pays the refund first, but then asks for it back later because it is erroneous.
Emails and messages that seem to come from HMRC
As previously stated, HMRC would never contact or text you to ask for your personal information in order to process a tax refund. The best option is to ignore these notifications because they are not from HMRC. Aside from that, HMCR does not contact you through email or text to notify you when you are owed a tax refund.
Additional information on bogus refund emails may be found on the HMRC website, as well as checks to see whether the email is from HMRC (Gov.uk website, 2022).
Emails and letters from other fake government representatives
Other fraudsters would send emails pretending to be from genuine companies like Companies House. They generally email you a link that leads to a phoney website where you will be requested to enter your financial information. This information is used by fraudsters to steal money from your bank account, and your personal information may be sold to criminal groups.
What if you already have given fraudsters your personal detail?
First thing to do is to contact your bank provider as soon as possible and explain your situation. They will advise you on how to protect your account and help recovering any money you have lost.
While you get in contact with your bank provider it will be ideal to freeze your bank account manually (bank app) if you have access to it.