Government moves to tackle the sending of scam text messages to taxpayers

26 Jan 2018

HMRC has moved to block the sending of unsolicited scam text messages to taxpayers, the government has revealed.

It said that 90% of the ‘most convincing’ scam text messages claiming to have come from the tax authority were blocked before they reached individuals' devices.

Within the scam text messages, criminals often make false claims, such as informing taxpayers that they are due a tax rebate. These messages tend to include a link to a website that is designed to collect victims' personal information, or to infect their device with malware.

The government stated that it never contacts customers who are due a tax rebate by text message or email.

Commenting on the matter, Angela MacDonald, Director of Customer Services at HMRC, said: ‘HMRC is focused on becoming the most digitally advanced tax authority in the world, and a big part of that relates to keeping our customers safe from online scammers.

‘As email and website scams become less effective, fraudsters are increasingly turning to text messages to con taxpayers.

‘We have made significant progress in cutting down these types of crime, but one of the most effective ways to tackle it is still to help the public spot the tell-tale signs of fraud.’

Taxpayers who do receive scam text messages are urged to forward the information to 60599, or email phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

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