Fraudsters are faking tax refunds, warns HMRC

HMRC is urging the British public to stop sharing personal information online to avoid their identities being used to claim fake self-assessment tax refunds.

HMRC said that criminals are trying to obtain customers’ Government Gateway logins and other personal details so they can register for Income Tax Self Assessment and submit bogus tax refund claims before “pocketing the repayment”.

People are being targeted on social media platforms by fraudsters seeking to ‘borrow’ their identities. In return, the individual is promised a cut of the tax refund ‘risk-free’.

“People need to think extremely carefully before they involve themselves in an arrangement like this, because if something looks too good to be true, then it almost certainly is,” said Simon Cubitt, head of cybercrime, HMRC. “Those who get involved risk becoming the victim of blackmail, threats of violence and wider abuse of their personal information, as criminals seek to exploit them further.

“I urge anyone who may be aware of these dishonest attempts to recruit individuals into criminality, to report it us by searching ‘Report Fraud HMRC’ on GOV.UK and completing our online form.”

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