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Scams warning for those submitting online tax returns

With thousands of workers in Staffordshire expected to submit online self-assessment tax returns by 31 January, people are being urged to be wary of scams.


Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service is working with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have issued the warning.


Criminals are using scam emails, texts, phone calls and even bogus websites to get their hands on people’s personal and financial details.


The warning comes as HMRC received more than 130,000 reports about tax scams in the year to September 2023.  Almost 60,000 people were approached and offered fake tax rebates by fraudsters.


Typical scam approaches include an offer of a tax rebate, being asked to update your tax details, or a threat of immediate arrest for tax evasion.


Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council, said: “These HMRC related scams are very common at this time of year and it’s important to be vigilant. 


“This particular scam is where fraudsters try to dupe people by sending emails, phone calls and texts, which mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.


“While lots of scams can appear genuine, it’s easy to fall for them, so it’s important to stop and check carefully.  And, if it is a scam, please report it to the relevant organisation and Citizens Advice.”


How to report tax scam suspicions:



Other common scams that people should look out for include energy rebate scams, bogus bank calls and emails asking for personal details, offers for goods and services and doorstep scams like double glazing sales.


People can report online scams to Citizens Advice or call 0808 223 1133.


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