Beware of Black Friday Fraudsters

It is that time of the year again.

Black Friday! A shopping season imported from across the Atlantic.

It is most welcome, and timely, as everyone can get early Christmas shopping done on the cheap. Deals everywhere!

No doubt, we will all spend some more over this period, and we will also be inundated with emails, phone calls, flyers and pamphlets.

In the Accounting and Tax services industry, this is also true. Sadly, with increased reliance on technology and the rise of fraudsters, more and more innocent folks are becoming victims of tax fraud. HMRC are trying to keep up but it seems they are always one step behind in the battle to prevent fraud.

Here are 3 top tips that could help you out during this Black Friday period:

  1. Beware of emails, SMS (texts) and WhatsApp messages from random senders purporting to be HMRC. HMRC will never send out communication to you in this form. Never give out personal or bank details via any of these methods. Be sure to first call HMRC on their official contact number. This can be found on their website hmrc.gov.uk
  2. The old adage, if it is too good to be true, it is, must not be forgotten. There are people online offering to do self-assessments and other services for FREE or next to nothing. That may well be true but you will almost always get what you pay for (or not). Cheap is not always great.
  3. Before selecting a bookkeeper or accountant, do your due diligence. Are they qualified? Can you verify that? What experience do they have? Have you checked their online reviews? Most of the fraudsters online are not qualified or even part-qualified accountants.

Hope you have found this helpful. I will try as much as possible to share tips and advice over the festive period.

If you want to learn more or have a specific question, I will be happy to answer then. Be sure to visit our website, send an enquiry, email or call.

Happy Shopping!

Trevor Jenkins-Johnston

CEO of J3 Accountants

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