As a part of their continuing drive to become one of the most digitally advanced tax authorities in the world, HMRC have been working with private and public partners with a view to tackling the problem of fraudulent text messages.
Text message fraud has been on the increase over the past few years, with taxpayers receiving messages alleging to be from HMRC which look legitimate. Usually they include the HMRC logo, claim that the recipient is due a refund, and include a link to a website which harvests personal information and spreads malware.
New technology employed by HMRC involves identifying these messages by ”tagging” them and preventing them from being delivered. Since the scheme began, reports of scam emails from the Revenue have fallen by around 90%, and 16,000 of associated phishing websites have been removed as a direct result.
HMRC is continuing to work with the National Cyber Security Centre with a view to eradicating the problem completely. However, they acknowledge that the most effective way to combat fraud is by raising public awareness so that they can always be alert to suspect communications.
Remember – HMRC will NEVER contact taxpayers who are due a rebate by text or email.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.