During 2019, HMRC received 614,483 reports of suspicious communications from members of the public, which prompted the Revenue to issue guidance on recognising genuine HMRC contact from phishing emails.
Criminals use phishing emails to obtain taxpayers’ personal or financial information, and often are able to make scam emails and texts look very realistic. Such emails often include a link to a bogus website, which encourages individuals to enter their personal details – something which HMRC will never ask you to do.
Commenting on such scams, a spokesperson for HMRC said: ‘Scammers use a range of techniques, including phoning taxpayers and offering a bogus tax refund or threatening them with arrest if they don’t immediately pay tax owed.
‘If someone calls you claiming to be from HMRC saying that you will be arrested, that we are filing a lawsuit against you or even that you are owed a tax refund, and asks for information such as your name, credit card or bank details, then it’s a scam.’