There’s a worrying telephone tax scam doing the rounds at the moment, which is particularly targeting the elderly. HMRC has asked us to alert our customers and share what you should watch out for…
How this particular tax scam works
A fraudster leaves you a telephone message threatening you with a HMRC lawsuit. You’re asked to get in touch on 0161 850 8484 and press 1 to speak to the officer dealing with your case.
The scam has been reported by a significant number of people and seems to be targeting the elderly in particular. Please do not reply to the message.
Other scams to watch out for
Governing body ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) has also had a report of another HMRC scam:
- An ICAEW member received a call from HMRC Money Laundering investigators
- The caller said they’d previously written regarding a Money Laundering report (not the member’s) but the member hadn’t received any such communication
- The member’s client received a call, allegedly from their bank, to say HMRC wanted three years’ bank statements
- The client called the member who confirmed HMRC had contacted him
- The member unwittingly gave credibility to the request for bank statements
- The client called the ‘fake bank’ back on the number, but got suspicious when he was asked for too many details, which he refused to give
- There were many attempts to get access to the company’s bank account over the subsequent weekend, but fortunately all failed.
In addition, an elderly client of our Stony Stratford office was targeted by HMRC fraudsters along similar lines as the telephone scam. She sternly declined, but was very upset by an attempt to extort her money to pay a supposed overdue tax liability.
What to do if you’re targeted
Always report incidents like these to Action Fraud. You can either do this on their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 1232040.
HMRC provides further information on email phishing and scams and how to recognise them when they genuinely contact you. Go to www.gov.uk/topic/dealing-with-hmrc/phishing-scams.com to find out more. Reports can also be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re ever in any doubt about whether HMRC are genuinely contacting you, please go direct to the HMRC website and contact them to verify directly if they are indeed contacting you.