HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has shut down more than 75 suspicious sites that tried to use its name to scam people.
According to HMRC, these sites have had more than one million visits since January. Whoever visits these fraudulent sites now will be redirected to the official site, where genuine information can be found.
Fraudsters abused the fact that many people enter HMRC and other gov.uk pages through search engines. When people search for things like phone numbers or other information, they go through search engines and often and up at unofficial sites. Some of these sites suggest calling HMRC via premium rate call-forwarding numbers. HMRC has a free 0300 number.
Other fraudsters charge for information that is freely available via the official site.
HMRC’s director for customer services, Angela MacDonald, said: “HMRC takes the abuse of its brand very seriously. Attempts to dupe customers in this way won’t be tolerated and we will always act to protect the public from malicious or misleading websites.”
HMRC said that besides taking ownership of these sites, it continues to combat fraudsters abusing its name.
Information on how to report misleading websites, emails, phone numbers or text messages can be found on this gov.uk link.
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