Posted on 30th October 2018
We have received a number of calls from members of the public who have been contacted by scam callers alleging to be from HMRC. The calls which are targeting both mobile and landline numbers suggest that the recipient owes money to HMRC. In some cases callers can be intimidating and aggressive and will threaten arrest. These calls are being received from 0300 200 3300 which is an official HMRC number that has been cloned for the purpose of these scam calls.
If you receive such a call, do not trust the number displayed on your phone. This is particularly important at the moment as lots of people will have been in genuine contact with HMRC as the deadline for paper tax returns is 31 October and online returns January 30 2019.
A HMRC spokesperson said: “Phone scams are widely reported, and generally attempt to target elderly and vulnerable people. We are a well-known brand, which criminals abuse to add credibility to their scams.
“If someone calls you claiming to be from HMRC saying that you will be arrested, that we are filing a lawsuit against you, or even that you are owed a tax refund, and asks for information such as your name, credit card or bank details then it’s a scam.
“If you can’t verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.”
· Recognise the signs - genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details.
· Stay safe - don’t give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting.
· Take action - forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599, or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report any suspicious calls or use their online fraud reporting tool.
· HMRC Debt management teams do contact members of the public by phone about paying outstanding debts.
· If a customer (or agent) isn’t confident that the call is from HMRC, we will ask them to call back. Depending on the circumstances and to give the customer confidence it is actually HMRC calling, information may be disclosed to the caller which only HMRC is party to
· Calls from the majority of HMRC offices will leave caller identification data, i.e. the number the caller has used to contact you from
· For up to date advice on scam HMRC phone calls, visit GOV.UK - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples/phishing-emails-and-bogus-contact-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples#bogus-callers
· HMRC will call people about outstanding tax bills, and sometimes use automated messages, however this would include your taxpayer reference number. If you are uncertain of the caller hang up and call HMRC directly to check – you can confirm our call centre numbers on GOV.UK if you are unsure. For tax credits we do not include your details in any voicemail messages.
If you are in doubt about a call you receive, call HMRC back from a different phone and if using a landline always listen for a dial tone before making a call. You can also contact Derbyshire Constabulary via our social media accounts or calling 101.
If you receive a call of this nature please report it to Action Fraud on Fraud 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk.