SEISS grant 5 applicants urged to watch out as scammers target self-employed hit by Covid
Martin Lewis grills Rishi Sunak over SEISS timetable
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The fifth SEISS grant will be open to claims from late July 2021, with guidance for claiming due to be published by the end of this month. For the fifth grant, the amount available will be determined by how much the person’s turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.
For instance, if the turnover reduction has been 30 percent or more, it will stand at 80 percent of three months’ average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500.
Should it have been less than 30 percent, the amount a person would get is 30 percent of three months’ average trading profits, up to £2,850.
Clearly, the amount available could make a substantial difference to those who claim it.
Worryingly, those in need of this money could potentially find themselves at risk of falling victim to a scam, as fraudsters purport to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Screenshots shared with Express.co.uk show scammers using Government branding in and attempt to gain people’s personal information such as their date of birth, address, and passport number and expiry date.
A message reads: “Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Claims for the Fifth SEISS Grant have now opened for Application.
“We’ve determined that you are eligible to receive a tax claim Grant.
“Please submit your application for the fifth SEISS grant now.
“Please “Sign in to HMRC online services” reference below and follow step 1 of 3 to have your tax refund credit to your bank account, also note you need your Passport and Driving Licence details to submit this application.”(sic)
Below a link which claims to enable the person to sing in to “HMRC online services self assessment”, the message continues.
“Note : For Security reason we will record (IP address, Time and Date) Delibrate Wrong input or flooding will be criminally pursued.
“Best regards, HM Revenue & Customs.”(sic)
Carl Wearn, head of e-crime at Mimecast, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the concerning matter.
“Cybercriminals continue to adjust their scams to be as timely and relevant as possible,” he said.
“With the UK being in the middle of the period where eligibility for this grant can be claimed, they are looking to capitalise on unsuspecting self-employed workers expecting a rebate.
“Cybercriminals will often modify traditional attack methodologies to exploit current events such as this in an attempt to lure the vulnerable to engage with/click on links in emails, applications, or texts.
“These criminals understand that many self-employed workers have had a difficult 12 months as a result of pandemic, with many relying on this grant to get by.
“This is likely to lead to more recipients clicking on the link and entering their personal details, which can have devastating effects including details being used for fraud or even sold to other criminals to use.
“These sort of scams are on the rise and recent Mimecast research finds that phishing attacks rose 63 percent in the last 12 months, so it is more important than ever that people are prepared.
“Don’t click on suspicious links and never open unexpected email attachments.
“If you’re concerned about whether an email such as this is legitimate, check with the HMRC directly or look on the official website.”
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