Telephone Fraud Calls
I received an automated (robotic) call (not) from HMRC on my mobile phone today telling me that HMRC are filing a lawsuit against me for not paying my taxes and that I need to press 1 to talk to an agent. If I didn't press 1 they warned that the lawsuit would be filed and that I would be arrested. I didn't press 1 and unsurprisingly the feds haven't turned up at the door yet.
As an ex auditor who dealt with fraud on a regular basis it's easy for me to laugh it off as a particularly poor attempt by Metal Mickey to fleece me, but please be aware that vulnerable people are being caught out by these types of scams regularly, including some of my friends and family members.
It's always worth mentioning this to neighbours, friends and relatives who don't have access to social media and might not hear about this otherwise. The call is specifically designed to be authoritative and intimidating and is most definitely targeted at the elderly and vulnerable.
Registering yourselves and relatives with TPS is really quick and simple just go to:
Do use this link as surprise, surprise there are even fake versions of this website out there who will try and charge you for setting up TPS on your phone.
If you are with BT you can dial 1572 and follow the simple instructions to add numbers to a blacklist completely free.
Most other land and mobile providers have a similar service.
I've reported it, but when one phone line is closed down another two will pop up in it's place. HMRC's own response is pasted below:
"HMRC is aware of an automated phone call scam which will tell you HMRC is filing a lawsuit against you, and to press one to speak to a caseworker to make a payment. We can confirm this is a scam and you should end the call immediately. This scam has been widely reported and often targets elderly and vulnerable people. Other scam calls may offer a tax refund and request you to provide your bank or credit card information. If you cannot verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them. If you’ve been a victim of the scam and suffered financial loss, report it to Action Fraud. The calls use a variety of phone numbers. To help our investigations you should report full details of the scam by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, including the:
date of the call
phone number used
content of the call"