HMRC is a familiar name to Britons dealing with taxes, other payments, and in some cases receiving sums from the Government. But scammers also know of the well-known nature of HMRC and are using this as a way to target unsuspecting Britons. This weekend, many individuals have reported receiving a phone call which claims to be from HMRC, warning them about their National Insurance number.
The phone call, which features an automated voice, is a threatening one which may scare those who are not already aware of the scam.
The caller informs Britons that fraud has taken place using their National Insurance number, and that HMRC will be prosecuting them, as well as suspending their number.
With the threat of arrest and a supposed “pending lawsuit”, individuals are encouraged to press one on their keypad in order to speak to an operator.
From this point onwards, people will be asked to provide bank details to settle a fine, rectify the issue, and to avoid legal action going forward.
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Several instances have been reported where Britons have fallen victim, so it is vital to stay alert.
HMRC has said it will only ever call Britons to ask about a claim or payment on a debt they already know about.
The Revenue will never give the reason for a phone call on a message via voicemail, not will it leave a voice message threatening legal action.
It explained: “HMRC is aware of an automated phone call scam which will tell you HMRC is filing a lawsuit against you, and to press 1 to speak to a caseworker to make a payment.
One person warned: “Guys, be on the look out for scam calls from companies posing as HMRC.
“I got two this morning and one was about a fraud case, the other about mistakes in tax filing. HMRC will never contact you like this. Don’t fall for it.”
A second person said: “Scam alert HMRC – apparently I’ve committed a very serous National Insurance crime – I’ve not!”
While a third commented: “I’ve had about six calls today with a recorded message from ‘HMRC” saying my National Insurance number has been suspended. If you get it, block it. Another scam.”
HMRC has warned this call makes use of a variety of phone numbers, and can often spoof official phone numbers as well.
To help the Revenue investigate the matter, it will be important to share call details where possible through the suspicious phone call reporting form.
Britons should include the following information:
- Date of the phone call
- Phone number used
- Content of the phone call