‘Just delete it!’ Lloyds Bank issues urgent warning as scams rife amid key tax deadline

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'I lost £700 to dark web money scammers'

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Lloyds Bank has released a new warning as the Self Assessment deadline looms ever closer, and it attempts to protect customers. Millions of people will be looking to file their tax return before the all-important deadline of January 31. But cutting it so close means individuals’ guards may be down, and they could be at greater risk than they might be usually.

The tricks from fraudsters can often vary, and will often be sent en masse to try to capture as many people as possible.

Commonly, Britons have reported receiving an email or text message telling them a rebate is due.

In some instances, people will be threatened with court action if they do not provide their details.

These are all illegitimate threats, but can often sound very official and convincing.

Con artists have a central goal in mind: to part Britons with their details and subsequently their hard-earned cash.

If bank account information is provided, then a person could see money harvested directly from their account.

However, with enough personal details, fraudsters can even attempt to steal the identity of their unsuspecting victim. 

These scams are often more rife around important deadlines, as many will be expecting to hear from HMRC.

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Consequently, it will be essential to keep a look out today and in the coming weeks. 

Lloyds Bank took to social media to issue a clarion call to people right across the country.

They said: “Fraudsters know it’s time to pay tax and could try to scam you. 

“HMRC will never text or email to offer a rebate, or to threaten you. 

“If you get a message like this, don’t reply or click a link. Just delete it.”

HMRC reported nearly 800,000 tax-related scams in the last year from unscrupulous fraudsters.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “Never let yourself be rushed. If someone contacts you saying they’re from HMRC, wanting you to urgently transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard.

“HMRC will also never ring up threatening arrest. Only criminals do that.

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“Scams come in many forms. Some threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion, others offer a tax rebate. 

“Contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so if you are in any doubt whether the email, phone call or text is genuine, you can check the ‘HMRC scams’ advice on GOV.UK and find out how to report them to us.”

Those who believe they have fallen victim to a scam are urged to contact their bank right away.

Lloyds Bank state they can guide victims on what to do next, and how to protect themselves in future.

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