There are two new HMRC telephone scams to be aware of. What do you need to look out for?
Scam 1. HMRC has become aware of a telephone scam where a recorded message is left, allegedly from HMRC, that starts: “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.” The recipient is then asked to phone 0161 850 8563 and press “1” to speak to the officer dealing with the case. Do not reply to the message as they will then try to extract money from you.
Scam 2. In this scam a bogus caller rings up an accountant and poses as an HMRC money laundering (ML) investigator. The caller says that they had previously sent a letter to the accountant about an ML report on one of their clients (the accountant may not have actually received a letter). You then receive a call allegedly from your bank to say HMRC wants three years’ bank statements. Call your accountant and they will confirm that HMRC has contacted them and so unwittingly gives credibility to the request for bank statements. The fraudsters then try to trick you into giving them online access to your bank account to access the statements.
Tip 1. If you can’t verify the identity of the person making the call, you should never disclose any personal details.
Tip 2. If you receive either of these scam calls, report it on the Action Fraud website or you can call 0300 123 2040.
If you receive a call from HMRC stating that it’s filing a law suit against you or asking for access to bank statements then it’s a scam. Your accountant should watch out for the fraudsters contacting them too and posing as HMRC money laundering investigators.