Beware HMRC income tax and tax credits repayment phone call scams

Fraudsters continue to be active. Here’s the details of three scams that have come to our attention recently.

These schemes are very clever and some farmers have lost thousands of pounds even where they have taken precautions.

Second Hand Machinery

A piece of machinery will be advertised for sale either online or in a farming magazine.

The vendor appears to be a reputable farmer or machinery dealer so that when the potential purchaser carries out background checks, everything appears legitimate. Once a deal has been agreed, the farmer is asked to pay a deposit by bank transfer. Both the money and the seller then disappear without trace. A tip here is to only pay deposits of this nature by credit card.

Phone calls or emails from HMRC

One variation is an email supposedly from HMRC saying you are due a repayment of either income tax or tax credits. All you have to do to get your refund is to click on a link and fill in your details, including bank account number.

Once the fraudster has got your details they can perpetuate identity fraud. An alternative is a phone call saying you owe money to HMRC and in order to avoid court action you need to pay money immediately.

HMRC will never contact you in this way, and will never ask for bank details, so always ignore these messages.

Phone calls from your bank

This one is potentially the most serious.

A phone call claiming to be from your bank’s fraud unit says your account has been subject to an attempted fraud. You are told to ring the telephone number on the back of your debit card. The fraudsters however keep the telephone line open so you are still speaking to them rather than the bank.

You will then be told to make an online transfer into a “safe” bank account, which of course is controlled by the fraudsters. A tip here is to ring the bank from a different telephone, eg a mobile,

If you have any concerns please get in touch.

Contact us

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