The dangerous rise of the HMRC scam

Just got a call from HMRC stating you owe them money? We have noticed an extraordinary increase of reports concerning HMRC calls, be aware these type of calls are known as HMRC scam.

How does the HMRC scam work? What if its actually the HMRC calling me?

The scam mostly consists in an automated phone call with a prerecorded voice letting you know that you are under investigation from HMRC over an unpaid bill. The message threatens people of taking serious legal actions against them, even claiming that their house is under surveillance. The target is asked to contact urgently a phone number usually based in London, otherwise serious legal consequences will occur.

HMRC Scam related tweets

When calling back the phone number given,  the interlocutor (generally an indian) is particularly threatening. They always follow the same long script regarding the target’s alleged debt. The worried victims are then persuade into settling the debt immediately by disclosing their credit card details.

More recently, this scam has taken a new turn with the increase of fake text messages claiming to be HMRC and offering cash rebates. A link to a dangerous website is often attached to the text. Accessing the website can result in the spread of malware and the leak of the victim’s personal information.

Persistent and ruthless, the scammers appear to be harassing more and more people. Although the messages appears to be sent randomly, vulnerable people such as the elderly are the obvious targets of this scam. HMRC have asked people to warn their elderly relatives about this scam.

call centre

If you receive a suspicious message of this kind, never give out your personal details. Tell the caller you will report the incident to the authorities and immediately end the call. It is advised to block the number to prevent further contact.

How can I spot and protect myself from HMRC scams?

Anti Fraud tools

Use HMRC anti-fraud tools. You can consult HMRC official Help page to help you identify and prevent phishing phone calls and emails. If you think that you may be a potential victim of this scam, you can find examples or scamming emails and text messages that you can check against.

Let’s be honest, it’s very unlikely that HMRC will call you to let you know you are due some money. If you owe money they will let you know by letter or in their official website.

Stay vigilant and be realistic

Learn how to recognise a scam call or text from a genuine contact. Text messages are NEVER used to contact people who are due a tax refund. Automated messages are sometimes used by HMRC about outstanding tax bills, however the Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) will always be mentioned. HMRC will never ask you out personal information out of the blue, such as PIN, password or banking details. Settling of debts can never be processed through such a method.

Or.. just block these calls automatically

Download our CallBlocker app for Iphone and Android and we will block these calls for you. You can also help others by reporting your experience with these type of phone numbers.

Still curious and want to know what happens when you call them back? Have a look at this recorded call.

Join the fight!

HMRC is actively battling against these threats and urging people to report such incidents. Forward suspicious emails to phishing[at]hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

25 thoughts on “The dangerous rise of the HMRC scam

  1. GORDON DIXON

    I was called on my land line by a female voice stating it was from HMRC , saying something had been done fraudulently .
    the number was 02568945825 .

    Can you tell me wjho or what this number is and if it is a scam !!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Dawson

    I was called today on 0300 200 346thst this as from HMRC and a warrant was our for me and if I didn’t reply by pressing number 1 then I would he immediately arrested. Should I be worried.

    Reply
  3. Samantha larke

    I just had a call from HMRC warranting my arrest I pick this time and no one answered I blocked the number number

    Reply
  4. Angus

    Interesting that your Telephone Preference UK message has a US-style date.
    That’s usually a good way to spot a scam.

    Reply
  5. Chris reaston

    I was called on ‭0300 200 3971‬ and threatened with arrest. Total scam be careful folks

    Reply
  6. Nicki bees

    I’ve just had a phone call stating that I owe the tax people money 01292427969 can any one tell me what the number is

    Reply
  7. Nat

    I was called today – automated voice claiming to be HMRC claiming there is a lawsuit in my name and to call a number back. I was called by # 01256403702 PURE SCAM!!

    Reply
  8. Sue Robinson

    Just had automated voice claiming to be HMRC and that there is a warrant out for my arrest this was sent to my mobile phone and is the 3rd call in the last month.
    Number calling was from 03002003081

    Reply
  9. Samantha Lewis

    Just had a call from 0300 200 3192 automated message saying HMRC are investigating me and a warrant is out for my address. Line kept breaking up so she rang me back from her personal line 0300 200 3190 asking why I did it, did my employer put me up to it. When I told her I am a housewife and have been for 7 years she hung up. 3 more calls off 0300 numbers in last 5 minutes!!!

    Reply
  10. Phil Ratcliffe

    03002060745
    A recorded message saying that they were HMRC and there was a fraud investigation going on and unless I pressed 1 I would be arrested shortly.

    Reply
  11. John Prosser

    I’ve just received a text message from this number, but I don’t know who it is. Is it a scam to get me to call them back ?

    Reply
  12. Peter Brumder

    Just received a phone call informing me that a warrant for my arrest was imminent because I had committed fraud. Tel No. 03027405313

    Reply
  13. Juls

    Just had call from this number 0300 200 4613 said It was hmrc and i iwould b arrested if I not press one to talk to them ..tried it but no replay .shame wanted to ask for a rebate on my taxes.blocked now anyway

    Reply
  14. Kirsten

    Just received a call from this number 03004693750
    Stating that they were HMRC and I was being investigated, the caller hung up when I challenged them.

    Reply
  15. Mark Spreadbury

    Just received a call from this number 03002002257 say hmrc press one someone answered then put phone down on me. Mark 10.51 4 June 19

    Reply
  16. CathyF

    Just received a call today on 0300 200 5970. It was a recorded message saying they were from the HMRC and there was a fraudulent claim against my name. Asking me to press 1. Just hung up.

    Reply
  17. V

    Just had automated voice claiming to be HMRC and that there is a warrant out for my arrest . Needless to say I put the phone down, but it is a worry to think there are a lot of Elderly and vulnerable adults who would take these SCAMS seriously. The number that called was 01293982916

    Reply
  18. Susan reece

    I had a text from 07593048658 it said I am due a refund and asked for details and my bank details if I have any tax due to me I thought it would come in a cheque in the post

    Reply
  19. Claire McKenna

    I’ve just received a call from 01289 975426 claiming to be HMRC it was a automated message advising to call a London number needless to say I’ve not called I did however try to call the number I’ve mentioned and the numbers not recognised this is a definite scam do not give any personal
    Or banking info to these crooks

    Reply
  20. Dezra Davies

    I was called by +443002003844 hmrc pre recorded message saying I would be arrested if I didn’t press 1

    Reply

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