Waiting for a tax rebate? Don't get fooled by a scammer!

Published: 19/02/2024 By Hannah Duncan

Now the self-assessment tax deadline has passed, many will be patiently waiting for their tax refund from HMRC. However, this is a prime time for scammers to ramp up their game and prey on unsuspecting tax payers.

If you completed your 22/23 tax return by the 31st January deadline it could be very easy to confuse a bogus email, phone call or even text message for the real deal from HMRC. Scammers can duplicate exactly what is sent out by HMRC and make what is essentially spoof communication look like a real offer of a tax rebate.

The only thing the scammer cannot hide when it comes to emails, is the email address itself; the name of the email may be changed but the actual @ address will not be from HMRC (you may need to right click or search further for the exact email address). sadly, this is not the case with phone calls, numbers can be faked and made to look like someone is calling directly from HMRC.
As with any suspicious email, call or text please do not give out any personal information, do not click any links and do not download any attachments.

Scammers comms can also lead an unsuspecting taxpayer to a fake website, this may look authentic and identical to one of HMRC’s legitimate sites but the scammers will use this fake site to steal personal information or even worse your money. They also have the potential to sell on your personal data.
HMRC have confirmed that they will not email, text or phone a taxpayer to advise a refund is due, nor will they ask you to request a refund. If in doubt, check your online HMRC account or on the HMRC app; any refund will be paid directly into the taxpayers chosen bank account.

If you receive any suspicious contact from HMRC and you are unsure if it is real, you can check HMRC’s scams advice page 

Check out our recent blog “Self-assessment customers be aware of scams!” where we advise where you can report any suspicious communication.