Telephone message left by hoax caller threatens an HMRC lawsuit.
The phone rings and a stranger leaves a message. You’re going to be taken to court. You have to follow their instructions. You have to do it now. What would you do? Many of us would identify it as a scam straight away but for some elderly or vulnerable people, fear and panic could set in. They would do as instructed, divulge information… and possibly lose significant sums of money.
HMRC has issued a warning about this scam which is targeting taxpayers and seems to be aimed at the elderly in particular. ‘There is currently a telephone scam where a recorded message is left, allegedly from HMRC, stating that HMRC are bringing a lawsuit against the individual and is going to sue them. The recipient is asked to phone 0161 850 8494 and press “1” to speak to the officer dealing with the case. This scam is becoming widely reported and seems to be targeting older people.’
Their advice? Please do not reply to the message.
If you cannot verify the identity of the person making the call you should not disclose your personal details. You should report these incidents on the Action Fraud website, or you can call them on 0300 123 2050 (Calls charged at your normal network rate). They are open Monday to Friday 09:00 – 18:00.
Talk about scams and how to avoid being a victim
But you can do more. If you have friend or relative who is elderly or vulnerable talk to them about scams and phishing. Many people aren’t security savvy online or over the phone and could easily fall prey to this scam. If in doubt, don’t respond or reply. To learn more about dealing with phishing and scams visit GOV.UK. Keep safe not sorry.