Self-assessment taxpayers are being warned to watch out for scam texts, emails and phone calls from fraudsters.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said it received more than 130,000 reports about tax scams in the 12 months to September 2023, of which 58,000 were offering fake tax rebates.
In the 12 months to September 2023, HMRC had 25,000 malicious web pages taken down.
With around 12 million people expected to submit a self-assessment tax return for the 2022/23 tax year before the January 31 2024 deadline, fraudsters will prey on customers by impersonating HMRC.
While some scams offer a rebate, others tell people they need to update their tax details or threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director-general for customer services, said: “HMRC is reminding customers to be wary of approaches by fraudsters in the run up to the self-assessment deadline.
“Criminals are great pretenders who try and dupe people by sending emails, phone calls and texts which mimic government messages to make them appear authentic.
“Unexpected contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so take your time and check HMRC scams advice on gov.uk.”
People can forward suspect texts claiming to be from HMRC to 60599, forward phishing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, and report tax scam phone calls to HMRC on gov.uk.