Our friends at Neighbourhood Watch have shared with us that there have been a number of reports from members of the public regarding fraudulent calls, texts and emails purporting to be from HMRC. Read on to learn more.
Action Fraud is experiencing an increase reports by members of the public who have received calls, voicemails, text messages or emails purporting to be from HMRC, claiming that they have an unpaid tax debt.
The phoney HMRC contact states that as a result of non-payment of tax, you are liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings but you can avoid this by arranging for immediate payment by methods such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards. The fraudster may threaten you with arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.
Contacts of this nature will be a fraud. The genuine HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) would never contact you by email, text message or phone call to tell you about a tax penalty or rebate, nor would they ask for your personal or payment information.
What you need to do
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows some details about you, it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the business directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation would ask you to pay taxes or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.
Don’t be pressured into making a quick decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine government department or bank force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.
You can also report HMRC scam/phishing attempts directly to HMRC via email@example.com.
If you need to reply regarding this message, click on this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org