Scam Calls from HMRC
Apr 11, 2019
At the end of the tax year it’s not uncommon for fraudsters to swing into action and con innocent taxpayers into believing that they owe money to HMRC. This year has been no exception, and we have become aware of a very convincing scam which has recently hit hundreds of UK residents.
The fraudsters are phoning their victims pretending to be from HMRC. They are declaring that the call recipient owes hundreds or even thousands of pounds of unpaid tax, and that they face arrest if they don’t pay these outstanding debts immediately.
The calls originate from offices in India, but the reason they are so deceptive is that the fraudsters are cloning HMRC phone numbers used by HMRC, so that it appears as though the calls are coming from a trusted source. The number which usually displays is 0300 200 3300.
An automated message requests that you press a button to speak to someone at HMRC, and warns you could face legal consequences if you don’t. The calls are typically very convincing and come across as genuine.
Many of those who have been contacted, and who have made the requested payment, have then been told that their transaction was unsuccessful. So they have then been tricked into making yet another duplicate bank payment, and handing over double the amount. Their money is transferred into a British bank account such as NatWest, in order to appear even more authentic.
HMRC have stressed that they take security extremely seriously and encourage all individuals to report any suspicious activity. Our advice is that if you are in any doubt about an incoming call, end the conversation and contact HMRC. You can report scam calls and/or emails direct to HMRC by calling the Action Fraud line on 0300 123 2050, by text on 60599 or by email at: email@example.com. You can also always check with us or go online & check your personal tax account to make sure.