HMRC, or HM Revenue and Customs, is a familiar name amongst millions of people who are required to deal with taxes each year. Due to the widespread use of the official service, the latest scam associated with HMRC has the potential to affect many, and is therefore particularly worrying. Several Britons have reported receiving a phone call which informs them there is supposed tax fraud associated with their name.
Individuals are then directed to ‘press one’ on their phone to speak to an adviser about the situation.
If they fail to do so, the automated voice states, they may face a warrant for their immediate arrest.
Understandably, the prospect of criminal charges such as fraud is likely to be particularly frightening for Britons who come into contact with this call.
However, the correspondence is simply a scam, designed to get people to part with their personal details.
READ MORE: Pension: How over 55s can ‘take control’ of finances amid COVID-19
As HMRC outlines, suspicious emails can be forwarded to the Revenue for further investigation, and texts sent to 60599.
Amber Burridge, Head of Fraud Intelligence for Cifas, commented on the matter.
She said: “As the Government begins to outline how the nation will come out of lockdown and recover from the pandemic, it’s important we all remain vigilant to any final attempts by criminals to exploit the situation over the next few months.
“When being asked to click on links and share your personal details, take your time to assess the situation and consider the impact of handing over your details.
“Cifas members reported a 195 percent increase in account takeover fraud in the retail sector in 2020, and it’s believed phishing attacks by criminals to harvest personal information was a key enabler of this fraud.
“Your personal details could also be used to facilitate identity fraud should they end up in the wrong hands.”
A number of Britons sent a stark warning to others about the scam, and the urgent steps to take to avoid being duped.
One wrote: “This is a scam – don’t entertain it. HMRC will never call regarding tax. They only send letters or ask you to log in to your tax account. They will never call on dodgy mobile numbers.”
A second urged: “Report to HMRC, and block. I had a load of those plus other scam calls last month. Ended up having to change my number.”
A third stated: “I got a scam call this morning and last week claiming HMRC is taking me to court for tax evasion.
“I panicked and then remembered I’ve paid all my taxes and it’s an answering machine.”
And a fourth person said: “Scam HMRC call this morning. If you receive a call, do not answer and if you do, certainly do not fall for it and call them back!
“There are some sick and deviant people about, who like to scare you into acting foolishly with personal details.”
Do you have a money dilemma which you’d like a financial expert’s opinion on? If you would like to ask one of our finance experts a question, please email your query to email@example.com.