Be vigilant: Callers being targeted by ‘HMRC’ fraudsters

Following the recent spate of “HMRC scam calls”, some clients have received calls from perpetrators claiming to collect debt on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

These fraudster phone calls play a recorded message which threaten and mention severe consequences if an outstanding debt is not paid. We urge all our clients not to follow any of the instructions given within the automated message.

HMRC Customer Support have informed the public through their official Twitter page that “all phone calls of this manner are a scam” and that “HM Revenue and Customs would never call without verifying their identity.” The UK Government website also clearly outlines that you “will never receive an email, text message or phone call from HMRC which tells you about a tax rebate or penalty or asks for your personal or payment information.”

If you are unsure about a phone call or email you have received, it is best to not click or press any buttons, and report it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk immediately. HMRC have further guidance for recognising scams.

Have you been affected?

If you are in any doubt or think you may be, or have been, a victim of this type of scam, please refer to the details we have included on how to report to HMRC or get in touch with your local Baldwins contact before taking any action.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many opportunities for criminals to scam and exploit innocent people and their businesses, whether they have been purporting HMRC as mentioned above or through other streams of cybercrime. With our way of working changing drastically, working ever more remotely and online, it is important to stay vigilant and take the relevant steps to protect you and your business from falling foul to fraud and cybercrime. Our previous insight outlines key cybersecurity strategies and solutions that should be considered.

Prevention of cybercrime is far more cost-effective rather than having to deal with the bureaucracy, cost and reputational damage of a security failure. The risks surrounding cybercrime need to be taken seriously both by yourself and your business.

Our Business Technology Consulting team is also on hand if you need clarity on the next best step for your business to protect against cybercrime.

Please also refer to our website for further COVID-19 related information, which is regularly updated with the latest news, insight and details of the economic support and measures as they are announced by our Government.