HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is sending out more than three million cold texts, emails and letters inviting self-employed people to claim the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS 4) grant.

Is this wholly appropriate at a time when scams are so rife?

Just this week, I have seen tweets from people warning, ‘Scam call from HMRC telling me I will be arrested if I don’t press 1,’ and, ‘Just had a scam call supposedly from HMRC.’

These messages are arriving all the time.

The advice is always to put the phone down, ignore the text or delete the email. So how will consumers know that these communications from the taxman to self-employed people are genuine?

HMRC tells me the only way of distinguishing its real texts from the fake ones is to read a 14-page, 4,000-word online document that lists all the occasions when it may email, text or cold-call us. It turns out there are 13 occasions on which we may get a phone call from HMRC, 23…

Read more…