HMRC has published guidance on recognising genuine contact from the tax authority during the COVID-19 pandemic.
HMRC recently sent text alerts to millions of mobile users regarding COVID-19. The SMS told people to stay at home in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.
However, criminals have been taking advantage of the situation and are spoofing official government phone numbers in order to send scam text messages. The messages attempt to convince individuals to pay fines after being ‘recorded as leaving their home on three occasions’.
As a result, HMRC recently published guidance on recognising official contact. It stated that legitimate government texts ‘do not ask you to reply, or give out any personal/financial information’. The link within the text only directs a person to the GOV.UK website, and provides advice on what individuals need to do during the COVID-19 outbreak.