High-level HMRC scams, where criminals impersonate HMRC in order to steal from bank accounts or get access to sensitive personal financial information, has become increasingly common. The latest HMRC scam involves bogus callers using apparently genuine HMRC helpline numbers with the 0300 prefixes. This is called number spoofing. HMRC is making headway here, and it’s hoped main HMRC inbound phone numbers are now protected. Hopefully, this will make it harder for scammers to use the prefixes. However, Scammers will always find a new way to catch people out.
To stay safe from any HRMC scam, remember these golden rules:
- never disclose ANY of your personal information, such as PINs, passwords, National Insurance number or bank details. Remember, HMRC will never phone unexpectedly to ask for such details.
- if in doubt, ask the caller’s name and why they are calling. Hang up and then call HMRC yourself, using their official number, to check it’s real.
- don’t reply to texts, download attachments or click on links unless you’re sure they’re genuine. HMRC does sometimes use SMS texts, but be on your guard to which ones are real. HMRC will not text about a tax refund, or ask for personal or financial details over a text message.
You can report suspicious phone contact by emailing the dedicated HMRC fraud support team. This will also help them to identify the latest scams and stop them from spreading. HMRC also regularly updates a list of things it may phone, text or email about here. We recommend that you read this list regularly in order to keep up to date.
If you are unsure whether a call from HMRC is genuine or an HMRC scam, please do call us. Don’t fall for it, it’s best to check. Contact your usual Ellacotts contact or Derek Boughton on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01295 250401.