Fraudsters are making phone calls to UK households claiming to be from HMRC threatening legal action against the householder and asking you to press 1 to speak to a case officer.
Clues that these are scam calls are:
- The call comes from an international number, despite displaying a UK number. This is a sign that phone spoofing equipment is being used to generate a fake number on the display.
- The message left on your phone (if you have not picked up the call) does not provide any contact details. A genuine caller on such a serious matter would provide you with at least one – and probably several ways – to contact them. Always check such details on their official website to verify whether they are genuine.
- HMRC would not contact you in this way if there were a genuine problem that needs addressing or if legal action was being initiated against you. You would receive formal paperwork through the post. The Government website has more details on reasons HMRC would contact you and how to spot a scam.
The threat of legal action is designed to panic you into complying with what the fraudster wants.
But there is no cause to be alarmed by these calls – they are not genuine. It is best hang up immediately or not pick up the call in the first place.
You can report such fraud attempts to Action Fraud.
The following numbers are all reported to have been used for this scam: 01618 507273, 01618 507864, 01618 505416, 01443 684640.