Scams & Frauds

How to Protect your Money from HMRC Scams

Have you ever received a suspicious message from a stranger? Did someone want you to make a payment, claim a refund or tell you there is a grant you can apply for? In such scenarios, you should be alert. Unfortunately, there are cases when the email, text, WhatsApp, or phone call can be so convincing, and you might think it is from HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC). Therefore, how do you ensure you protect your money and don’t fall victim to HMRC scams? Please keep reading to find out.

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What Are HRMC Scams?

There are cases when scammers try to impersonate someone from a utility provider, HMRC, responsible for tax schemes, benefits, government projects and financial support that affect numerous people in the UK. They might claim to be the police or a court in other cases. They then contact individuals who may be unaware of their tricks and request personal or financial information, and at times might request them to send money.

A victim can receive such a message from an impersonation scammer in a text, voicemail, email, or phone call. They could use any other messaging app and even your social media account. Unfortunately, the impersonators have managed to trick so many individuals and steal money from them.

Importantly, small businesses should take note and stay alert, especially when the deadline for Self-Assessment is almost arriving. This is because HMRC will contact small business owners via email or SMS during this period, and the scammers are taking advantage of the opportunity. Therefore, their target is mainly Self-Assessment, and they would try stealing their money or personal information. However, how do you know it is an HMRC scam? Let us look at some of the signs that can help you not fall victim.

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Signs of HMRC Scams

Getting duped by a scammer is very devastating for an unsuspecting citizen. Therefore, you must know some of the signs of these HRMC scams, so you don’t fall victim.

Suspicious Phone calls

If you have doubts about a certain phone call you have received, this alone should keep you alert. You could be interacting with an HMRC phone scam. It is quite unfortunate that these cases have been rising over the years. In most cases, you can get this kind of scam in a message informing you that there is a warrant for your arrest since you haven’t paid enough tax.

When this gets to an unsuspecting citizen, they can be scared and might resort to making the payment, thus giving the scammers what they want. On the contrary, you should end the call immediately whenever you feel as if something is fishy with the phone call. HMRC would never make such phone calls.

Police or Court Action Threats

In most cases, when an HMRC scammer calls you, they might be pushing you to act quickly in whatever way they suggest. They may tell you to pay some money to prevent your arrest, as in the case mentioned above. When you receive such threats of legal action, know it is not HMRC since they would never do that to their customers.

Your Personal Or Financial Information

When the information requested is questionable, it might be a scam. For example, an HMRC scammer might request you to give details such as bank logins or card details. Remember, HMRC does not make requests for such personal and financial information, so this should keep you alert.

Suspicious Caller ID, Email Address, or Name

When you receive an email or call, you need to be very keen on the name displayed. Anything that slightly differs from HMRC should raise your eyebrows and tell you something is wrong. When HMRC calls or sends you an email, they will be official in the details they provide and the name they use. Also, if you encounter any spelling mistakes, this is a warning sign.

Suspicious Links and Attachments

An HMRC scammer might send you an email or text with weird links or attachments. They might claim that there is some important information or that it’s a government gateway account. Don’t open such URLs or attachments that seem off. They could be malware.

Absurd Requests

A scammer might call, text, or email you to inform you that your account is at risk of being blocked and that you should pay some amount of money to a certain account so that it is safely kept. Remember that HMRC would never make such a request and avoid such and do not follow their instructions. This can help keep your money safe.

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Protect Your Money

Therefore, now that you know the most common signs of HMRC scams, how do you ensure you protect your money when you are suspicious of a scam? The following strategies can help:

  1. End the Call or Contact

When the thought crosses your mind that the call, text, or email you are receiving might be a scam, it is prudent to end it. You wouldn’t want to be an easy target for someone pretending to be HMRC when in a real sense, they are not. It is also critical to ensure you do the same for business phones and not only personal contacts.

  • Report to HMRC

After you have ended the call, it is wise to call HMRC directly for confirmation. Ask them if there is any communication that has been dispatched from them or not. This can help you gauge whether or not what the scammer was telling you was legit. The good thing is that you can get HMRC genuine contacts from past official letters.

Therefore, whenever you get a suspicious text, call, voicemail, or email, don’t hesitate to report it to HMRC. You need to protect your money and don’t allow scammers opportunities to steal from you. It is sad how the number of scam cases reported to them keeps increasing. Moreover, since your money is involved, double-checking is never a crime.

  • Call Your Bank or Account provider

If a scammer asks for your financial information, ensure you call your bank or account provider. Don’t hesitate to take this step whenever you think you’ve been a victim of an HMRC scam.


When it is almost the deadline for Self-Assessment, there is an increase in HMRC scams. The scammers try to trick unsuspecting victims by impersonation. It would help if you were on the lookout whenever one tries to pressurize you to give out some information, wants you to share your personal and financial details, and sends you suspicious links and attachments. Don’t be scared to end that call and contact HMRC if you want to protect your money.

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