HMRC has warned taxpayers to avoid sharing their personal information online in order to prevent their identities being used to claim self assessment refunds.
According to HMRC, criminals are attempting to obtain taxpayers’ Government Gateway log in details to register for income tax self assessment and submit bogus tax refund claims.
Taxpayers are reportedly being targeted on social media platforms by fraudsters requesting to ‘borrow’ their identities – the victims are then offered a cut of the tax refund ‘risk-free’, HMRC said.
The agency has advised taxpayers only to deal with HMRC through their tax adviser or directly in relation to self assessment refunds.
Simon Cubitt, Head of Cybercrime at HMRC, said: ‘People need to think extremely carefully before they involve themselves in an arrangement like this, because if something looks too good to be true, then it almost certainly is.
‘I urge anyone who may be aware of these dishonest attempts to recruit individuals into criminality to report it us by searching ‘report fraud HMRC’ on GOV.UK and completing our online form.’ Alternatively you can call the HMRC fraud helpline on 0800 788 887.