SELF ASSESSMENT customers should be alert to criminals claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
As the department issues thousands of SMS messages and emails as part of its annual Self Assessment tax return push, HMRC is warning customers completing their returns to take care to avoid being caught out by scammers. The annual tax return deadline is on 31 January 2021.
The department knows that fraudsters use calls, emails or texts to contact customers. In the last 12 months, HMRC has responded to more than 846,000 referrals of suspicious HMRC contact from the public, and reported over 15,500 malicious web pages to internet service providers to be taken down. Almost 500,000 of the referrals from the public offered bogus tax rebates.
Many scams target customers to inform them of a fake ‘tax rebate’ or ‘tax refund’ they are due. The imposters use language intended to convince them to hand over personal information, including bank details, in order to claim the ‘refund’. Criminals will use this information to access customers’ bank accounts, trick them into paying fictitious tax bills, or sell on their personal information to other criminals.
HMRC’s Interim Director General for Customer Services, Karl Khan, said: “We know that criminals take advantage of the Self Assessment deadline to panic customers into sharing their personal or financial details and even paying bogus ‘tax due’.
“If someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or asking for money, it might be a scam. Please take a moment to think before parting with any private information or money.”
Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: “Criminals are experts at impersonating organisations that we know and trust. We work closely with HMRC to raise awareness of current scams and encourage people to report any suspicious calls or messages they receive, even if they haven’t acted on them, to the relevant channels. This information is crucial in disrupting criminal activity and is already helping HMRC take down fraudulent websites being used to facilitate fraud.
“It’s important to remember if you’re contacted out the blue by someone purporting to be from HMRC asking for your personal or financial details, or offering you a tax rebate, grant or refund, this could be a scam. Do not respond, hang up the phone, and take care not to click on any links in unexpected emails or text messages. You should contact HMRC directly using a phone number you’ve used before to check if the communication you have received is genuine.
“If you’ve been the victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and please report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.”
Customers can report suspicious activity to HMRC at email@example.com and texts to 60599. They can also report phone scams online on GOV.UK.
HMRC is also warning the public to be aware of websites that charge for government services – such as call connection sites – that are in fact free or charged at local call rates. Other companies charge people for help getting ‘tax refunds’. One way to safely claim a tax refund for free is to log into your Personal Tax Account.
HMRC has a dedicated Customer Protection team that identifies and closes down scams but asks the public to recognise the signs to avoid becoming a victim. HMRC regularly publishes examples of new scams on GOV.UK to help customers recognise phishing emails and bogus contact by email, text or phone.
Ways to spot a tax scam
It could be a scam if it:
· is unexpected
· offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
· asks for personal information like bank details
· is threatening
· tells you to transfer money.
Self Assessment customers can complete their tax return online and help and support is available on GOV.UK.
To protect against identity fraud customers must verify their identity when accessing HMRC’s online services. They must have two sources of information including:
· credit reference agency data
· tax credits
· UK Passport
Trimsaran go top after beating Bynea
TRIMSARAN moved to the top of League 3 West B on Saturday (Jan 8) as they beat Bynea 39-5.
It was the only game to be played in the Division as others battled covid-19 cases and waterlogged pitches following overnight rain.
Lee Bates had scored two tries in Trimsaran’s last game before Christmas and he carried on his good form with a hat trick of tries on Saturday.
Iwan Green and Chris Lacey also went over for the home side who were also awarded a penalty try.
There were three conversions and a penalty from Corey Phillips as Trimsaran secured a bonus point win.
Trim now sit top of the table, unbeaten in their opening four games in the league, and they are now level on points with second placed Tumble who have played a game more.
On Saturday, January 15, Trimsaran travel to Tumble while Bynea will look to get back to winning ways when they host New Dock Stars.
PHOTO by Darren Harries
Welcome to Serene Baby Sleep
JULIA is a qualified Sleep Consultant experienced in supporting you to maximise your family and child’s sleep potential. She is calm, caring and empathetic to your individual needs. Julia is also a qualified NNEB Nursery Nurse and non medical Maternity Nurse with over 25 years experience in dealing with newborns & children up to the age of 12 years.
Whilst working with you, Julia will tailor a bespoke programme for your baby or child. This will be balanced with your family’s needs, taking into account your personal wishes. Coupled with her own experience and intuition she will endeavour to find a solution that supports your child in learning to enjoy sleep.
Julia has a wide range of packages available including; Telephone/Skype Consultations, Home Visits, Welcome Home Packages, Sleep Plans, Maternity Nursing and Night Nannying.
As a sleep consultant Julia advises on the various methods of sleep training available. As every family is different she encourage parents/carers to go with a plan that is ultimately going to have the best outcome for them. After an initial phone call to gather all of the facts an explanation is given on the various services she offers.
Typical problems and situations Julia might assist with as a non medical maternity nurse include feeding issues, tongue tie, low milk supply, mastitis, routine and sleeping habits.
Julia will encourage and support exhausted parents to get more rest through effective time management and prioritisation. She can advise parents on how to support their older children’s emotions once the new addition to the family has arrived ensuring a highly enjoyable experience for all.
Julia provides a high quality and confidential service and can provide extensive evidence of recommendations by previous clients who often invite her back to the family home for subsequent bookings for additional children.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed, in need of some sleep, support and advice please call Julia Maher on 07722071420 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit: https://serenebabysleep.uk/
Cavity Wall Insulation Removal – Everything you Need to Know
OVER the years many people have been a victim of poorly installed cavity wall insulation. In contrast to what you were promised, the insulation is failing to keep your home warm.
When the correct material is installed to a home that is in good condition, cavity wall insulation is an energy efficient way to keep your home warm. However over recent years cavity wall insulation has been known to be installed incorrectly. This has caused problems such as penetrating damp, condensation, mould and deterioration of existing
If you’ve experienced any of the above lately, then it is time to consider extracting your cavity wall insulation.
Unsure whether you need cavity wall insulation removal? Speak to one of our friendly specialists for a free consultation.
Why has my cavity wall insulation failed?
Many homeowners can be completely unaware if their cavity walls have been installed correctly. It is impossible to know if it is under-filled, over-packed, where it has slumped, where areas have been missed, blockage to vents and other internal obstructions. From our experience the blame can normally be placed on one of the following pointers;
- The cavity has not been appropriately cleared prior to the install.
- How prone the property’s location is to wind and rain exposure.
- Damage to external walls such as cracks within render/ pointing of brickwork.
- The cavity width is too small.
- Property structure is not appropriate for cavity insulation.
- Insulation has not been installed properly.
- Debris in the cavity wall which causes a thermal bridge.
- Poor materials have been installed such as mineral wool, formaldehyde foam.
- No bonding agent installed with carbon carbon, diamond bead or expanded polystyrene beads.
- Leaking roof and damage to soffit.
- Insulation becoming wet through flooding or fire damage.
Are there grants available for cavity extraction?
At this moment in time, cavity extraction grants are not available. However, for those who still have access to their guarantees, there is a possibility that you could claim off the guarantee provider. This process can be tedious however our specialists are there to help you.
Is it possible to remove cavity wall insulation?
Failed cavity wall insulation will not get better over time, it will get worse. The good news is that it is possible to extract the current insulation and remove any debris.
Our team of technicians are able to remove insulation and rubble from within your cavity using an extraction machine. In addition to this, air bricks are installed to the external wall of the property to allow cross flow ventilation. This is crucial and will allow the cavity to breathe and the internal skin to dry out.
What is cavity wall extraction?
Cavity wall extraction is the process of removing defective wall insulation. As a result of poorly insulated cavities there is a growing demand for cavity extraction across the UK. Particularly in areas of high wind and rain exposure. There are many cavity wall extraction companies offering their service. However, be sure to check that they hold an oscar onsite certification and trustmark approval. This will ensure a high standard of workmanship.
How long does it take to extract cavity wall insulation?
The average cavity wall extraction takes roughly 2 days, however this figure varies from property to property. Some insulative materials can become rigid or rubble can collect at the bottom of the cavity from previous work. Both of which can slow down the process drastically. Nevertheless, it’s crucially important to remember that the cavity space has been cleared and nothing can act as a thermal bridge.
Will cavity extraction cure my penetrating damp?
Essentially, when the defective cavity wall insulation has been successfully extracted moisture will be unable to pass from the external brick to the internal brick. With time and the correct ventilation the damp will dry out and there will no longer be a problem. However depending on the damage that has been done already for example, blown plaster or render this would have to be rectified by a specialist.
How do our technicians detect failed cavity wall insulation?
The survey process is straightforward and allows our technicians to gauge the severity of the problem and which method is best suited to extract the insulation.
- A general inspection can be carried out; cracks within brickwork, damp spots/patches on render and vents which aren’t sleeved.
- A borescope inspection allows our technician to look inside the cavity which is aquick and easy way to determine the state of the insulation.
- Thermal imaging is another way to diagnose areas of the property that may be actingas a thermal bridge.
Who are we?
At First Choice Energy, our mission is to create a more sustainable world to live in. To do this, we need to reduce our energy usage by creating energy-efficient homes. That’s why we work with homeowners across the UK, helping with increasing heating and insulation efficiency throughout their homes. Check our website to see how we can help you today.
Contact Number:- 07884 004516
For more information visit our website https://firstchoiceenergy.co.uk/
News2 weeks ago
Trailer for horror film ‘Protein’ which was shot in Swansea and Llanelli released
Sport1 week ago
Rob Evans and Steff Hughes leaving Scarlets
Sport1 week ago
Matchroom Whites win Worthington Cup
Health3 days ago
Monkeypox Q&A: how do you catch it and what are the risks? An expert explains
Community1 week ago
Nearly 7,000 in Wales sign up for UK’s biggest ever plastics investigation
Business2 weeks ago
Beware of fake E.ON refund emails, warns Action Fraud
Health4 days ago
No monkeypox cases identified in Wales say public health officials
Education1 week ago
Funding for music education trebled to the tune of £13.5m