HMRC Scam Call: How It Works
Beware of an HMRC scam call that’s going around. It is also known as the Tax Evasion Scam Call or the HMRC Scam Call Press 1. It informs you that there is an HMRC warrant on your name based on a fraud case. The numbers that criminals use are 020 39236047, 020 38807074, 020 35912040, 02077708142, and 013 32199360.
This scheme has two variations. Let’s take a look at both these phone scams below. Please contribute in the comments section with names and numbers that the scammers use to get in touch.
1. HMRC Fraud Case
In the first variation, the HMRC scam call goes like this. The criminals use software to create automated calls, telling victims that there is an HMRC fraud case featuring your name. “Hello, my name is Howard Wilshere. We, at HMRC, have you flagged for tax evasion. To get a reference number of your fraud case, press 1”, says the scammer. The vocabulary could vary, as scammers may not live in the United Kingdom, but you get the idea.
If you press 1, you will connect with a real person that will take over the conversation. The crook informs you that the HMRC found some irregularities with your account. It could be anything from accusing you of wrongdoings to mentioning that someone has already filed your taxes on your behalf.
Criminals intimidate the victims, luring them into paying an amount over the phone to get them off the investigation. If you receive the HMRC fraud case scam call, ignore and go ahead with your day.
2. HMRC Warrant Scam
The second variation of the HMRC scam call is similar but has a slightly different twist. Here is how the HMRC Warrant Scam works.
You get just an automated message telling you that the government is investigating you for tax evasion. They say that if you don’t call back, you will be arrested.
Let’s say you call back. The person on the other end gives you a fake name and employee number. He then tells you there are three federal charges against you for tax evasion from the years 2017-2019. They accuse you of shortchanging the federal government on your taxes.
Related Article: National Insurance Suspension Scam
He said the Police would be at your house within two hours to arrest you. “You will be seeing a judge on Thursday,” they may say.
The scammer also says that if you do not take this seriously, you will be in big trouble and spend the whole weekend in prison. He might list some fake charges you are being accused of. “You owe HMRC £2,500, for which you will be seeing the judge. If they find you guilty, there will be another penalty of £38,000 and potentially up to 15 months in jail.” Scary?
What Happens If The Victim Is Weak
If the HMRC scam call perpetrator finds that the victim is weak, he proceeds with more demands. “Do you think your tax mistakes over the years have been honest, or have you been stealing on purpose” he will ask. “This conversation is recorded, and I must be frank with us.” Very convincing, indeed.
That’s when more people fall for this tax evasion scam call. When the criminal feels the victim is hooked, he comes up with a solution. He asks them to go to the nearest convenience store and buy “government-certified vouchers” to the £2,500 penalty. “After you do that, you will need to go to an HMRC office where you will be educated on the mistakes you have been making on your tax submissions.”, he adds.
However, he wants victims to keep him on the phone the whole time and not hang up. Like in many other tax scams, they cannot contact anyone else as “this was a federal matter.” What happens if you go to the store?
The scammer asks you to buy reloadable debit cards or Steam cards. It is because these are untraceable. The criminal wants the victims to purchase or load cards worth of £2,500. Then they ask them to give them the codes on the back of the cards. This way, they can redeem the money online.
The Steam cards are gaming gift cards and not government vouchers. This should be another red flag to convince people that the HMRC scam call is nothing but a criminal act.
Tax Scam Phone Call: How To Avoid
HMRC does not conduct their business that way. People just get scared. Just hang up the phone, call their bluff, then report them. You could also visit HMRC’s official website to keep up to date with the newest info about the tax season.
How To Report the HMRC Call Press 1 Scam
Warn your family and friends about the HMRC scam call by sharing this article here, on social media. If you’re also wondering how to report phone scams, you can also officially do it to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) or Action Fraud using the links below:
How To Prevent Identity Theft and More
If you want to find out the most common scams every week, please subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails – no spam whatsoever. On the other hand, educate yourself with some other phone fraud-related articles right under this paragraph, so that you can protect yourself. Please use the Comments section below to expose other tax scammers.
Here are some must-reads for the end:
British Gas Email Scam
Tax Return Error Scam
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