This morning, I received an automated telephone call from 0161 850 3583 – the call was from fraudsters pretending to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The call went like this:
This is Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. We have been trying to reach you to let you know that we are filing a law suit against you. To discuss your case press 1.
Numerous people around the UK have been receiving similar calls, and unfortunately some have been falling victim to the thieving scum.
When #1 is depressed on your telephone dial, you are transferred to a real person who claims that “unpaid tax is due, and a warrant would be issued for your arrest. To avoid a further 50% tax penalty, money should be paid by instant bank transfer, or your bank account would be closed and the money taken out directly by HMRC, as the law had been changed allowing HMRC to do this.”
- To put it plainly, this is bullshit.
If you’ve received a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC encouraging you to provide bank account or personal details for alleged tax debts, in exchange for ‘tax advice’ or a refund, you should first attempt to verify the caller’s ID.
If you’re unable to do that, the best course of action is to hang up. If you believe you’ve been contacted by a fraudster, you may want to get in touch with HMRC via its official website, while also reporting the incident to Action Fraud.
- HMRC takes security very seriously, but everyone needs to be alert. If you cannot verify the identity of the person making the call you should not disclose your personal details.