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Latest COVID-19 scams: HMRC related emails and bogus contact

Client Support
David Tallon
14/01/2021
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We are aware of an increasing number of cases of people receiving emails, text messages, or even phone calls regarding tax refunds claiming to be from HMRC.

A number of recent messages that we have come across have taken the form of an email that is supposedly from HMRC that claims to offer compensation via a dedicated COVID-19 tax refund or rebate programme. Others claim to be a refund following your annual tax summary or tax return.

There are a number of ways to distinguish these messages from official HMRC correspondence.

Firstly, the emails are littered with a series of spelling errors throughout, which is often seen as a tell-tale sign of scam correspondence.

In addition, it is important to know that there is no dedicated COVID-19 tax refund or rebate programme set up by the government at present. So, any email claiming to be making a payment under such a scheme cannot be genuine.

Official correspondence is also likely to contain a person’s name, addressing them in the first line, which has not been the case with recent ‘scam’ emails that we’ve come across.

Finally, HMRC has said it will not contact customers in this way (i.e. email, text, or phone), and so correspondence such as this can be safely assumed to be a scam.

All emails claiming to be from HMRC should be treated with suspicion, and you should not follow any links provided in the email or text message.

You can always check your tax position via your personal tax account, which can be set up or accessed via https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account

Also, if you have a tax advisor or accountant, they will be able to advise you if you are due a refund and review any correspondence you have received from HMRC. Of course, as a Rickard Luckin client you can as well speak with your usual RL contact who will also be able to assist in identifying any HMRC-related communications that may look fraudulent.

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