Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have warned that fraudsters may seek to take advantage of the PAYE error that has led to millions of people paying the wrong amount of tax.
Criminals have posed as HMRC in the past in a bid to trick people into giving out financial information. A previous campaign by the fraud brigade saw them sending out bogus letters purporting to be from HMRC telling the victim they were in line for a tax rebate prompting them to forward on their bank details. This type of scam is known as “phishing.”
HMRC fear that their highly documented error, which will involve the affected to be contacted via post, will encourage the scam squad to once again attempt to deceive unwitting citizens, potentially in the form of fake emails.
Those affected by the error will be notified by mail this week and HMRC are reminding people that mail is the only way they will contacted, not by phone or email. A spokesman for HMRC said: “There could be an upsurge of scam emails in the light of the repayments we are making.”
Financial experts are also worried by the threat, top accountant Mike Warburton warned that there would be “a massive attempt to defraud the public,” adding that letters could also be used: “They can look exactly like the real thing. If you get a letter you should check with HMRC that the address it has come from is a genuine tax office and is not bogus.”