HMRC are issuing controls which should prevent fraudsters from spoofing HMRC’s most recognisable 0300 numbers.
How are HMRC controlling the issue?
HMRC have recently issued a warning of the increasingly mimicked legitimate HMRC helpline numbers (usually beginning with 0300) to steal tax payers money.
When taxpayers check the number online, they believe it to belong to HMRC and willingly hand over money enabling the fraud.
HMRC have now partnered with OFCOM and the telecommunications industry which should help with the spoofing of HMRC’s most used inbound numbers.
HMRC Fraudulent call statistics
In a paper issued by ICAEW they reported that reported phone scams against the UK taxpayers is as follows:
2016/17: 407 reports
2017/18: 7,778 reports
2018/19 104,774 reports
These statistics were alarming to say the least, resulting in further controls being introduced by HMRC.
From the introduction in April 2019, HMRC had stated there been no scams reported, spoofing genuine inbound HMRC numbers up to July 2019.
It seems the controls in place have now been surpassed by the scammers. We as a firm, have been made aware and have received several calls from the affiliated HMRC 0300 numbers. These calls were recorded messages and clearly a HMRC fraudulent call. (We have reported these to the relevant bodies)
Advice provided by HMRC for fraudulent calls
HMRC have provided the following regarding fraudulent calls.
- Banks and HMRC alike will never contact you out of the blue and request passwords, pins codes or bank details.
- NEVER give out private information.
- NEVER respond to text messages or open email links from unknown sources or ones you weren’t expecting.
- Forward any details of anything suspicious claiming to be HMRC to [email protected] and texts to 60599.
- If you have suffered a financial loss due to a scam contact Action fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.
- HMRC have examples of the bogus text messages and emails at tinyurl.com/TX-PhishEmails
- For further advice on scams and how to report them search tinyurl.com/TX-PhoneScam
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