National Insurance scam: Britons urged to ignore tax alert – ‘assume it’s dodgy’

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Morning Live: What to do about common National Insurance scam

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued a fresh warning this week after fraudsters have been sending messages to people on social media. Scammers have been hijacking Government log-ins and National Insurance details to make false tax self-assessment claims and pocket the cash.

On the back of the warning, personal tax refund specialist RIFT Tax Refunds said it’s always best to assume it’s dodgy.

Bradley Post, chief executive officer for the company said: “There seems to be no limit to the lengths that scammers will go to defraud the hardworking public of their money and the latest ruse is to adopt a person’s HMRC credentials and to purport to be that person when filing for tax refunds.

“Tax refunds themselves are a little known, largely untapped source of annual finance and those working within construction, training and energy sectors, as well as the military, are often the most frequently owed a refund by HMRC due to the fact they work from temporary or numerous locations on a regular basis.

“Perhaps it is the general failure to claim these refunds that has caught the attention of fraudsters who see them as easy money should they be able to access the required details to submit one.

“As with any process, particularly one involving your financial welfare, ensure that the company you are dealing with is legitimate and should anyone ask for payment or personal details upfront or via platforms such as social media, cease communication with them immediately.”

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He suggested five ways people could avoid scams:

“No legitimate tax refund firm will ask for your personal details over Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. If you see a Google Ad or a display ad on social media that suggests you provide any personal details then you may assume that its dodgy.

Santander also issued a scam warning recently after a couple lost £20,000 in an NHS Covid text scam.

While quite a few scams are currently doing the rounds, the NHS COVID-19 text scam is catching people out by telling them they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant.

The text includes a link to a fake NHS website to order a PCR test.

Although only a small amount of money to cover postage for the PCR is requested, the website asks for personal details so that the fraudster can call back pretending to be from the Santander fraud team.

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Action Fraud said anyone can fall foul to these scams but 64 percent of cases are pensioners aged between 70 and 89.

What’s more, three-quarters of victims of courier fraud are aged between 60 to 99.

It advises people that banks, HMRC or the police will never call or message to ask for personal details, a PIN or money.

People can report fraud or cyber crime by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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