Fraudsters are phoning victims to say an arrest warrant has been made in their name because of unpaid taxes or outstanding debts. But even more sinister, the fraudsters are cloning phone numbers used by HM Revenue and Customs so that it appears as if the phone calls are coming from the trusted authority.
The automated message asks people to press a button on their phones to speak to someone, warning that if they don’t they could face serious legal consequences.
The number is usually displayed on a person’s phone as 0300 2003300 – the official number of HMRC. On some phones, when the call comes through HMRC appears on their screen as if that is the genuine caller.
However, while the number appears to be a genuine it is in fact from fraudsters looking to trick unsuspecting victims out of their money.
An HMRC spokesperson says: “HMRC takes security extremely seriously. We are aware that some people have received telephone calls from individuals claiming to be from HMRC. We have a well-known brand, which criminals abuse to add credibility to their scams.
“These scams often involve people receiving a call out of the blue and being told that HMRC is investigating them. If you can’t verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.”
Known as spoofing, there has been a surge in this type of scam in recent years.
As well as cold calling, fraudsters also leave voicemails and use text messages asking victims to call back on the number provided.
When victims call back, they are told that there is a case being built against them for an outstanding debt and they must pay immediately.
Fraudsters will often ask for payment in iTunes gift card voucher codes as they can be easily redeemed and sold on. The scammers don’t need the physical card to redeem the value and instead get victims to read out the serial code on the back over the phone.
A spokesperson for Action Fraud says: “This type of contact is designed to convince you to hand over valuable personal details or your money.
“Don’t assume anyone who has contacted you is who they say they are. If an email, phone call or text message asks you to make a payment, log in to an online account or offers you a deal, be cautious and report it to Action Fraud.”
What you can do to guard against the fraudsters
1) Recognise the signs - Genuine organisations, such as banks and HMRC, will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details
2) Stay safe - Do not give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting
3) Take action - forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599, or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report any suspicious calls or use its online fraud reporting tool
4) Check Gov.uk for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact
Re: Tim Archers comment
Whilst your comment is in many respects viable, I have to question why you would include freemasonry. I can only assume you have hard evidence to hand (which I can't believe), or you don't know anywhere near enough about the organisation, but thought you would include it for good measure.
Hi today I had the same call as you from so called Nate Shaw , but from what I gather HMRC would surely send you one of their letters in one of their brown envelopes first not just phone you and threaten you with instant arrest and loss of your liberty,, if I'm wrong my next text will be when I'm arrested, but all very worrying it's about time the government got to grips with the situation 😜😜😜
Scam HMRC number - DO NOT ANSWER AND BLOCK 03002004461
WARNING! THIS IS A FAKE HMRC NUMBER 03002004461. DO NOT ANSWER. IF YOU DO, DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING THEY SAY.
Hmrc threaten arrest
Had a phone call today from 017021110433 . Said .i owed £3,000 and they had sent letters, threat of arrest, wanted my date of birth, and national insurance number. Yesterday wanted Bank Sort Code. Did. not believe a word of it. Voice said I would have to “bear the consequences for non-compliance”. Very threatening,
I’ve been getting these calls and today I answered and they said you’ll get arrested if you don’t pay this money I actually thought it was real me not knowing it was a scam and he said his name was Chris Martin and was asking for the money several times should I be worried???
I got a call today asking…
I got a call today asking for my national insurance number and date of birth and postcode door number I actually thought it was real for a second and gave it to him what should I do
I just a voicemail saying there was a warrant for arrest and I shud press key one , wot shud I do now ??
Called twice in last week. From private number recorded voice, saying I owe tax, and arrest warrant will be issued if I don't press one. Just ignored it, simple thing is, if you know you pay your tax what's to worry? Just scammers playing mind games. Don't fall for it.
Not this time
Just had a similar call from number 020 5200 8958. Saying it was HMRC and I had committed fraud, press 1 etc... I hung up around then. Not this time scammers! Will block the number.
Phone Call from HMRC
Today received call saying under investigation for tax fraud press 1 failure to do so will result in an immediate arrest. This is bad it could terrify many people into doing what they want. I am over 70 years but fortunately am aware of such things. I know it’s difficult for the authorities to prevent such things but there should be more widespread publication and advertising of these scams
HMRC Fraud Call
I have been getting 3 calls a day for 6 weeks now and due to phone being on silent in work this is why they are constantly harassing me. Today as I was off I answered the call and got told warrant was being processed for tax evasion and fraud, when I asked how they could verify who they were they asked “you are doubting this call” I explained yes as the tax office don’t call people and this must be a scam and would give the police the number they were calling from and they hung up
Scammers from 0192559428
Phoned with text to speech message very threatening. Gave me a number to call back on. 01925596428 the same voice as the original message stated the number was not set up to relieve calls. I phoned the original number back and it was answered by some Indian/Pakistani guy who pretended to be tax office but when I asked the simplest of question he just hung up. Tried again different guy same accent got a bit further but as he started to ask me for info and I questioned why I should provide any since I did not know who he was he also hung up. 98% sure its a scam. Have contacted the police over this sort of thing in the past but found them about as much use as a chocolate teapot. You need to strike while scam is in progress not maybe call back never.
I have just had the same…
I have just had the same phone call I have done for the last couple of weeks asking me to call a number which i have now blocked I agree with people if they were to call a pensioner like my dad luckily they haven't he suffers from a heart condition and it could cause him to have to have a heart attack this needs to stop now it scares when I get the phone calls having a disabled son aswell
Fraudulent "HMRC" call from 0300 200 3329
Called with automated message saying that I was being investigated for tax fraud and police would shortly arrive with an arrest warrant. Did not listen to the rest, as I was sure that this is not how government agencies operate in the UK. (So far)
Just got automated call saying that I had to press 1 to get through and if I didnt I would be arrested by end of day. BASTARDS! Ijust hung up as knew it was a scam. The number that was on my landline tho was
Phone call from 0300 200 8931
I received at phone call from this number last evening at around 6pm tell me to press 1 on my keypad saying that HMRC has issued a warrant for my arrest on tax fraud. I was out shopping and was totally caught out.. However I had my wits about me. I pressed one and this Indian accented guy says that the HMRC needs to verify some details. I responded by saying HRC... and he retorts no H"M"RC... so I said okeh well what is this about..?
DIdn't you hear the recorded message before pressing on your keypad?
My reply: Well yes but what fraud and what is this about?
His reply: Well we have a file on you and before I go on I need verification... What is your name
My mind says: (Well if you called me you ought to know and surely HMRC writes to an address not calls at odd hours)... So I said - look I am in a public space, its late and I will call HMRC tomorrow to verify everything.
He did not insist and cut off the call. But it leaves you with a sense of being assaulted as my mobile number is private and not in general use. I came home and tried the number on my landline and it was dead. I tried this morning again and it says the number is not in use. However, the aggressive voice tone is enough to scare most people into blabbering their name and possibly address and what is asked.
I would implore everyone to use delaying tactics like I will call you back and first try to find out.
i was also told that if i did not press 1
hi it said if i did not press 1 i would be arested for tax fraud the number was 03002001760
Scam phone call
Just had a call from 0300 2008268 saying is from HMRC and asking me to press 1 otherwise would be arrested.
I hang up right after.
HMRC scam call and all scam calls
My HMRC scam call was from 01281820983. What is concerning is that Virgin Media charges for blocking numbers. Surely, given the number of scam calls, the facility to permanently block numbers should be free and easily available for example from the 1471 option.
Scam from HMRC
Call came on 02984540981. Recorded message from a male saying that an arrest warrant has been served on me and please press 1 to speak to my case officer which we did. Then an Asian women said this is HMRC to which I said how do we know you are genuine. She asked if my name was Mr. Bates and we replied no we are not and so she put the phone down immediately.
Just had the same call
They used 03002000646
Same automated message asking that I press 1 to discuss or face arrest
I hung up ! And called the fraud hotline to report it
Tax fraud ??? I've been long term sick for a decade lol
This triggered an anxiety attack though! I'm 39 years old ... What might this do to someone much older !
I just received this very call first and automated voice telling my I have been a tax fraud case against me in my name and I have to press 1 to be connected to the tax officer. I record all my mysterious number call that come up and the number on this occasion was 0300 200 9857. I knew straight away it was a scam, as HMRC would contact by letter not phone.
Scam phone calls
I have been phoned four times today — a bank holiday when HMRC is closed — with these threatening calls. Obviously a scam. The number given was 02033224899. It’s surprising that the hand that reaches out for the cash from these scams is not immediately clamped in handcuffs. It can’t be too difficult to organise a sting.
Scam HMRC phone call
I got an automated phone call today claiming that an arrest warrant had been obtained etc' The give away was that such a call would not be automated and it this one did not mention my name nor did it try to establish that I was the person who was named on the imaginary warrant.
Confirming that the person answering the call is the person that you want to speak to is always the most obvious thing to do. Not doing so defeats any advantage to be had from automating the call in the first place because you will end up taking calls from all sorts of people who have nothing to do with the case.
The fact is that the call is automated because these rats are just on a fishing trip and they are hoping that by making thousands of automated calls they can scoop up a few bites. They have no idea who their system is phoning. However following the automated instruction and pressing "one" puts you on their hook.
This is not to say that you can always trust people who cold call you and who do know your name
A message from 01229727400. They didn't say where they were from just said that an arrest warrant had been issued and would be carried out and then to press 1 to discuss what it was for. I am a 76 year old pensioner. This type of call is very worrying and upsetting.
Partial message left on landline, a recording saying legal action will follow so need to ring dept no 8433 300024. He said his name was Mike Wilson from HMRC and finished message with “have a blessed day!” So obviously a scam.
New bank account
I was rung today by 01444797208 (automated voice)and told £600 had been taken from my card and to press 1 to stop payment. Also have had several threats to cut off my broadband. All numbers have been put on my banned calls list on 1572
HMRC Scam Call
Just received a call half an hour ago from 0844 351 0872. It was an automated call with a woman (very English sounding) saying that either me or my solicitor needed to call back urgently to discuss the matter. It went on to warn that if there was a failure on my part to call back then I should get ready to face the consequences. The call ended with "take care". I terminated the call and blocked the number
Fake calls from HRMC
I have just had a call from this number03022004034 it's a scam don't even bother to answer it it's about time these scumbags were brought to book I am over seventy and well aware of these scams it could result I a vulnerable person having a heart attack through worry I am sure with technology today these calls can be traced