How to Avoid Tax Refund Scams
With tax filing season done, many of you may be awaiting your tax refund. Here are some steps to help you avoid tax refund scams.
What are some common tax refund scams?
Fraudsters will aim for a variety of tax refund scams. These can include fraudulent emails, text messages and voicemails. The HMRC will only contact you about tax refunds via the post or through your pay via an employer.
If you receive an email or SMS claiming to be about your tax refund, do not click on any links. These fraudulent sites may be trying to “phish” your information. The HMRC has requested 2,672 phishing sites to be taken down.
How to recognise a genuine HMRC contact
The HMRC will never seemingly-randomly ask you for information like:
- Bank details
- PIN numbers
- Your private information
It will also never use emails or SMS messages to tell you about tax penalties, rebates, or to ask for payment information.
Here’s a list of genuine emails and SMS messages you can expect from the HMRC. When in doubt, don’t click on links or provide personal information until you can confirm this is a legitimate communication.
How to report tax scams to the HMRC
You can send suspicious emails to email@example.com, or you can forward dubious text messages to 60599. If you believe you’ve already given personal information to a shady party, you can reach out the HMRC security team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also report suspicious activity related to taxes on the ActionFraud website.
When will I receive my tax refund?
The HMRC will send you a tax calculation letter between June and October if you’re owed a bona fide rebate. You can expect your tax refund a few weeks after you’ve received your report.