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HMRC is urging individuals not to share sensitive personal information online as there are scammers attempting to use people’s identities to commit tax fraud.

Criminals are using personal details, such as Government Gateway logins, to register for Income Tax Self-Assessment and submit fake tax refund claims before pocketing the repayment.

People are being targeted via social media platforms by fraudsters asking to ‘borrow their identities in return for a cut of the tax refund.

HMRC warns that handing over sensitive personal information to criminals like this, even inadvertently, risks individuals involving themselves in tax fraud, and having to pay back the full value of the fraudulent claim.

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Simon Cubitt, Head of Cybercrime, HMRC, said, “People need to think extremely carefully before they involve themselves in an arrangement like this, because if something looks too good to be true, then it almost certainly is.

“Those who get involved risk becoming the victim of blackmail, threats of violence and wider abuse of their personal information, as criminals seek to exploit them further.

“I urge anyone who may be aware of these dishonest attempts to recruit individuals into criminality, to report it us by searching ‘Report Fraud HMRC’ on GOV.UK and completing our online form.”

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