HMRC issue warning for increase in scams leading up to Christmas

HMRC have issued a warning after an increase in scams and fraud attempts have been reported leading up to Christmas this year.

The concerns have arisen due to online scams prompting an increasing number of victims to raise their voices on social media after being ripped off or almost losing their hard-earned cash.

Some common scams that are increasing include fake bank calls or phishing emails. This is where a hacker or fraudster will attempt to get your bank details or login information via a phishing email, or over the phone.

Another scam includes fraudsters pretending to be HMRC themselves by calling people and claiming that they owe tax collection and that they should pay or face legal action.

Although these can be quite convincing HMRC have now raised awareness of the key signs that should raise concerns.

The key signs of a fraudulent message are:

  • Is it unexpected?
  • Offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
  • Asks for personal information such as bank details
  • Is it threatening?
  • Asks the victim to transfer money

Unfortunately, members of the public have already fallen victim to these attacks. A lady from Bristol reported that con artists claiming to be Lloyds Bank had fooled her into giving details, and then proceeded to steal large sums of money from her bank account.

To help stop a fraud attack like the above happening to you, Take Five to Stop Fraud’s tips below are very useful.

Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe

Challenge: Could it be fake? It is okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud