HMRC is warning people to be vigilant about phone calls from fraudsters pretending to be the UK tax authority.
HMRC received more than 60,000 reports of phone scams in the six months up to January 2019, an increase of 360% compared with the six months before. Last year the department requested the removal of more than 400 unique numbers being used to conduct phone scams.
- If you receive a suspicious call or voicemail from someone purporting to be from HMRC, hang up and report it to HMRC, which will work to take the fraudsters off the network.
- Contact HMRC using one of the numbers or online services available from GOV.UK, from a different phone line, if possible.
- Report suspicious contact to HMRC – send details of emails and calls to firstname.lastname@example.org and forward texts to 60599.
- Don’t give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting.
- If you think you’ve given your bank details to a fraudster, contact Action Fraud and your bank immediately.
HMRC will only ever call you asking for payment on a debt that you are already aware of, either having received a letter about it, or after you’ve told HMRC you owe some tax, for example through a Self-Assessment tax return.