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iPhone users, beware: stay alert for tax refund scams!

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has put out a warning for all iPhone users following a surge in fraudulent text messages targeting taxpayers, falsely claiming they are due tax refunds and requesting personal information.

Some messages also include a link to access the supposed refund, in an attempt to make the message look authentic.

This escalation in scams is part of a broader trend, with HMRC-related scam messages increasing by 36 per cent from January 2022 to January 2023 alone.

How do I recognise a scam message?

These messages are already a well-known issue with HMRC, and they are searching for ways to tackle and manage the problem.

Taxpayers should be cautious and be on the lookout for any messages that they suspect to be fraudulent from people claiming to be HMRC.

The messages could come in the format of emails, phone calls, social media apps (including WhatsApp) and could come through on Apple or other devices.

A key tell sign for these fraudulent messages is if they request you to act quickly or send personal details via a text message, as this is not common practise for HMRC.

If you are unsure about communications related to a tax refund, you should contact your accountant for advice.

Reporting scam messages

One of the issues that many taxpayers face with this influx of scam messages, is that it is difficult to report and even block the number they are receiving messages from.

The scammers are using business phone numbers or Apple accounts to contact taxpayers which can make them impossible to block.

If the messages are sent from a legitimate business number, reporting them to Ofcom’s designated anti-scam line can also be difficult.

To get advice on tax, tax refunds and staying safe as a taxpayer, our team are here to help so get in touch today.


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