As tax payment deadlines approach, it is crucial to familiarise yourself with the tactics of scammers. These scammers are very aware of upcoming dates and, as such, step up their efforts to divert payments from taxpayers to their own bank accounts.
What Tactics Do Scammers Use?
One of the biggest scams to keep in mind relates to the use of QR codes. When you complete your tax return by logging into your personal account, there is the option to scan a QR code to complete the tax payment via your mobile device. This has generated a new series of scams whereby taxpayers are receiving emails and text messages containing a QR code, which then takes them to a fake HMRC website.
Please be aware that HMRC will never send a QR code to a taxpayer. This means that if you ever receive an email, text or any other electronic message containing one, it is certainly a scam.
Moreover, HMRC never asks for any personal or payment information by phone, Whatsapp, email or text message. If you are contacted and asked for such details from someone claiming to be HMRC, we advise that you end the call and forward any messages to 60599 (local rates).
There have been some instances whereby taxpayers have received phone calls claiming to be from HMRC demanding money urgently or threatening arrest – again, this is always a scam.
If you have received contact from HMRC and are concerned about scammers, please contact us for advice, as we are always more than happy to help.