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HMRC warns of self assessment scam season

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With the self assessment deadline behind us, HMRC has spoken to AccountingWEB about why attention should now turn to avoiding being scammed with bogus tax refund offers.

20th Feb 2024
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A warning about criminals using the self assessment deadline to trick people into sharing personal details with fraudsters has been issued, with HMRC’s chief security officer speaking to AccountingWEB about the problem and stressing that criminals will “stop at nothing”.

HMRC responded to 207,800 referrals from the public of suspicious contact in the past year to January – up 14% from the 181,873 reported for the previous 12 months.

More than 79,000 of those referrals offered bogus tax rebates, according to figures from the authority.

Extra vigilant

Kelly Paterson, HMRC’s chief security officer, spoke to AccountingWEB about the problem, noting that taxpayers “should be extra vigilant around any deadline”.

“Criminals use deadlines like self assessment filing to trick people who might be expecting to hear from HMRC into sharing their banking or other personal details,” she said.

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Replies (14)

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By Yossarian
22nd Feb 2024 09:57

I once got caught by a self assessment scam. It was about a decade ago, and some chap calling himself Gideon Osborne something told me it was the end of the annual tax return and I had to buy a load of new software. He promised all sorts, but to be honest it's all so long ago I can barely remember what he said.

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Replying to Yossarian:
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By AndrewV12
22nd Feb 2024 10:49

Gideon Osborne or George Osborne.

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Replying to AndrewV12:
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By FactChecker
22nd Feb 2024 14:53

The former was his name until "he decided when he was 13 to be known by the additional first name of 'George'" ... Wikipedia.

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Yossarian
23rd Feb 2024 09:39

I remember that the 'Beast of Bolsover' used to take great delight in referring to the former Chancellor as 'Gideon' whenever he had the opportunity!

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By johnjenkins
22nd Feb 2024 10:11

Most Accountants are aware as this scam has been about for a few years. That's not to say it won't catch some out.

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By listerramjet
22nd Feb 2024 10:16

How about bogus fishing trips from HMRC?

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Replying to listerramjet:
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By johnjenkins
22nd Feb 2024 10:41

Shall I?

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Replying to listerramjet:
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By AndrewV12
22nd Feb 2024 10:51

I would prefer a real fishing trip.

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By AndrewV12
22nd Feb 2024 10:48

'With the self assessment deadline behind us, HMRC has spoken to AccountingWEB about why attention should now turn to avoiding being scammed with bogus tax refund offers.'

I am not going to make many friends with this reply, but I believe a significant percentage of people who falls for bogus HMRC refund scams, have one common denominator. Greed, the eyes light up.

PURE GREED.

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Replying to AndrewV12:
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By Heating_installer
22nd Feb 2024 13:10

What's that saying - you can't hustle an honest person

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Replying to AndrewV12:
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By The Rogue
22nd Feb 2024 13:24

I would be interested to see your statistical evidence for this claim.

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By Ben Alligin
22nd Feb 2024 12:17

Anyone falling for a HMRC scam must be really naive/stupid.

Any email purporting to come from HMRC promising something to be done in a timely manner cannot have emanated from HMRC - all agents know that from bitter experience.

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By Mr J Andrews
22nd Feb 2024 14:26

Why are HMRC speaking to Accounting Web about why WE should turn our attention to ''scam avoidance'' ? Are they that stupid enough to think that we are stupid and ignorant of what is going on ?
A Government / HMRC initiative of regular full page press articles on the tricks these criminals get up to - and the woeful tales of those who have been duped - should be the way forward to minimising these scams. It's all very well saying that the public have been alerted ; perhaps I'm one of the few who have noticed
Kelly Paterson needs to instigate pre-emptive , proactive action rather than produce statistical summaries after the event.

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By moneymanager
22nd Feb 2024 17:12

The biggest scam is government, why ARE still mostly behaving as a horse with blinkers?

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