Whitley Stimpson director warns against telephone scam

Nick Bullen, who is a director of Whitley Stimpson, one of the largest accountancy and business advisers in the M40 corridor, has warned taxpayers of a telephone scam currently being circulated.

Following HMRC’s tax return filing, and tax payments, deadline on the 31st January, scammers are taking this opportunity to try and trick people into revealing personal details, most notably bank account information. One version of the scam involves receiving a pre-recorded telephone call, claiming to be from HMRC and informing the listener that they are having a lawsuit filed against them by HMRC. They are then given the option of pressing ‘one’ to speak to a case officer.

Nick explained: “This is a total scam. HMRC never make such a phone call to taxpayers.

“In the above version of the scam you should not continue with the call. The other version of the scam is that someone telephones the taxpayer saying they are from HMRC and that they have not paid their tax, requesting bank details so as to “clear your tax bill” but then use the opportunity to take money from your account.”

“You should insist they give you their telephone number, say you will call them back, but don’t actually call back as it may be a premium rate number. This number can then be reported to HMRC for further investigation.”

He went on to add: “A recent Lloyds Bank fraud seminar advised that the fraudsters will “prove” they are honest by asking the target to call back on the bank / HMRC’s number. However, they just stay on the line, so the target thinks they have rung back but they are actually still talking to the same person / another member of the fraudsters’ gang. They are then duped into giving away personal information and the rest is history.”

Further information about avoiding and reporting misleading telephone calls, as well as websites, emails or text messages can be found on the HMRC website www.gov.uk.

Nick can be contacted for more information on 01295 270200 or nickb@whitleystimpson.co.uk