A CYBERCRIME expert has warned of a tidal wave of scam messages and phone calls being sent to Brits in an attempt to steal their cash.
Fraud-fighter Charlie Shakeshaft told The Sun that crooks are posing as the taxman to trick people into a false sense of security before robbing them blind.
They’re sending emails, texts and WhatsApp messages to victims that are designed to steal money or financial information from them.
Shakeshaft, who is the founder of scam-busting website Individual Protection Solutions (IPS), is urging people to be extra vigilant in the coming weeks.
That’s because HMRC-related scams are predicted to rise in the lead up to the tax self-assessment deadline at the end of the month.
During this period, HMRC sends millions of legitimate emails and texts to taxpayers – something that fraudsters will use to their advantage.
Dozens of IPS members have reported HMRC scam attempts already. They’re a popular form of attack because they are applicable to most people in the UK.
“We have had a huge number of members bring HMRC scams to our attention over the years,” Shakeshaft said.
“Most adults are taxpayers and do receive messages from HMRC from time to time, so scammers try to exploit that familiarity.”
The fraudulent messages are so-called phishing attacks that lure victims to a website that appears to be operated by a trusted entity, such as a bank, social media platform or other service.