Smarter accounting

HMRC telephone scam

7 September 2016, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

Watch out for these HMRC telephone scams

There are two new scams that you need to be aware of.  Callers are leaving a phone message or posing as an HMRC investigator.  If you are on the receiving end of an HMRC telephone scam you can report it on 0300 1232040 or on the Action Fraud Website.

HMRC telephone scam 1

HMRC has become aware of a telephone scam where a recorded message is left.  The message 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 this message and do not ring the 0161 number!  This scam is intended to extract money from you.

HMRC telephone scam 2

In this scam a bogus caller rings up an accountant and poses as an HMRC money laundering (ML) investigator.  A fraudster claims to have previously sent a letter to the accountant about an ML report on one of their clients.  The client then receives a call allegedly from their bank to say HMRC wants three years’ bank statements.

This scam is designed so the client calls their accountant who confirms that HMRC has contacted them.   Their accountant unwittingly gives credibility to the request for bank statements.  The fraudsters then try to trick the client into giving them online access to their bank account to access the statements.

What if my call from HMRC is genuine?

A genuine representative of HMRC will have access to your personal details and tax references.  Rather than “confirm” these details to the caller, you should ask them to confirm the details they have on file for you.  Anyone who is not prepared to provide these details is likely to be a fraudster.  If someone claims to be calling from HMRC, you can arrange to call them back, after checking their number on the HMRC website.  Where you have any doubts about someone who has called you, you should never disclose any personal details.  When you are contacting your bank or HMRC always check the telephone number on their official website.

Can someone else deal with HMRC on my behalf?

HMRC will only speak to you or an appointed agent about your accounts.  Agents can get through to HMRC more quickly on dedicated helplines.  We can save you time and money in dealing with the long waiting times kept on hold.  If you would like to appoint an accountant as your agent please contact Alterledger using the form below.

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