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How to identify and report scams to HMRC


Published: 06 Jun 2023 Update History

HMRC has issued a scam warning to individuals who receive tax credits, urging them to be alert to people trying to steal their information. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty recaps how to identify and report a scam to HMRC.

Over recent years, the number of scam messages purporting to come from HMRC has increased. Such scams may ask individuals to update personal details, pay fake tax demands, or offer false tax refunds from HMRC. 

HMRC has identified several scams targeting individuals who receive tax credits, in the run up to the tax credits renewal deadline on 31 July.  

Scam emails, texts and phone calls may closely mimic government communications, so can be difficult to spot. Among other signs that could suggest a scam, HMRC highlights that a message may be a scam if it: 

  • rushes you;
  • is threatening;
  • is unexpected;
  • asks for personal information like bank details;
  • tells you to transfer money; or
  • offers a refund, tax rebate or grant. 

Individuals and agents are advised to check that the contact they have received is genuinely from HMRC. This page sets out how HMRC contacts taxpayers as part of standard processes, and whether taxpayers may be contacted for ongoing research projects and surveys. 

There are several ways to report a suspected scam to HMRC. It is also possible to report security vulnerabilities on HMRC online services.   

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