HMRC issues warning as voicemail message circulates

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HMRC is a household name, with many people aware of what the Department does – particularly as it relates to tax. However, scammers are seizing on the familiarity of the name to add supposed legitimacy to a dangerous scam.

In this particular scam, Britons have reported receiving a voicemail which threatens them with criminal action. 

The voicemail states: “This call is to inform you there is a tax fraud case registered under your name.

“You have to press one to get connected to the officer of HMRC.

“If in case you do not press one and your call is not connected to us, then the warrant will be issued under your name straight away. You will get arrested shortly.”

This unsettling voicemail is just one of many techniques scammers deploy to frighten their victims.

The criminals hope the fear of arrest will make Britons press one on their receiver, which will not transfer an individual to HMRC – but straight into the hands of a scammer.

Posing as Government officials, these scammers try to convince Britons they need to part with their personal details to resolve a supposed tax fraud case against them.

Sometimes, they even claim the victim’s National Insurance number has been used fraudulently.

However, this all forms part of an elaborate ‘phishing’ ruse, designed to steal people’s personal details, as HMRC has absolutely nothing to do with this message.

This could have devastating consequences, as criminals look to use bank details to steal money, or personal details to commit identity fraud.

Sadly, this type of scam is rife, with HMRC responding to 65,596 reports of phone scams in total in the last year.

The Revenue has worked with the telecoms industry and Ofcom to remove 142 phone numbers over the last year which were used to commit HMRC-related phone scams.

The scam has been widely reported and often targets elderly and vulnerable people, so it is important to stay on one’s guard.

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An HMRC spokesperson told “HMRC will never ring up threatening arrest. Only criminals do that.

“Tax scams come in many forms. Some threaten immediate arrest for tax evasion, while others offer a tax rebate.

“Contacts like these should set alarm bells ringing, so take your time and check HMRC scams advice on GOV.UK.”

To help HMRC investigate, Britons can share the call on the suspicious phone call reporting form on the Government’s website.

They will need to include:

  • The date of the call
  • The phone number used
  • The content of the call.

Those who have been a victim of the scam and suffered financial loss, should report the matter to Action Fraud. 

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