Over the last few years, there has been a marked increase in the number and variety of scams carried out by unscrupulous individuals claiming to be working with HMRC. As a result, HMRC now publishes details of the type of telephone calls they are currently making to taxpayers to help you establish whether the call you have received is genuine.
However, please be aware that if you are calling us in relation to a call you have received from ‘HMRC’, please be aware we are not HMRC. Many people call us thinking they are calling HMRC. If you are seeking to speak to HMRC, please use the contact details set out on the appropriate page on gov.uk.
Please be aware that if you have received what you suspect is a Spam call from a mobile number purporting to be from HMRC, due to the sheer volume of enquiries in this area we are unable to respond to individual enquiries and have instead summarised the steps to take on this page.
What types of HMRC communications are currently genuine?
According to the HMRC website, the types of issues they are currently contacting clients about are updated and now listed on the link to the webpage below. Please note, however, that the inclusion of the kind of call you have received on the list does not guarantee its authenticity. If you have any concerns, no matter how small, you should contact HMRC directly before providing any information requested by the communication.
For a complete list of telephone calls and other types of communication currently being initiated by HMRC, you can visit the HMRC website.
Helpful measures to confirm that a communication you have received is genuine and avoid falling victim to an HMRC scam
- Cross-check any communication received with the list of current genuine communications on the HMRC website, as discussed above. If you remain unconvinced, contact HMRC via the number on the relevant page of Gov.uk to confirm they sent the communication.
- Confirm the provenance of any communication before sharing any details of a personal nature with the sender or caller.
- It is highly unlikely that HMRC will ring you out of the blue on a mobile number.
- HMRC will never ask you for your bank details or passwords. If you receive a communication claiming to be from HMRC that does so, it is a scam.
- Never agree to pay any money purportedly demanded by HMRC by telephone or email without first verifying that the demand is genuine.
- Keep your HMRC log-in details private from any third party.
- Do not reply to an email or click through to any links in an email that alleges to originate from HMRC without first satisfying yourself that it does so.
- Do not reply to a text message stated to have been sent by HMRC until you have confirmed its origins.
Ultimately, we must all proceed with caution. If a communication does not feel quite right, investigate it further before proceeding. Common tell-tale signs of scam communications include suspicious email addresses, bad spelling and grammar and getting your name or contact details wrong. However, scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the absence of any overt red flags does not guarantee a communication’s legitimacy.
What to do if you have received a suspicious communication alleging to originate from HMRC
The action required in relation to suspicious communications varies depending on the type of communication involved.
- If the communication is an email, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Forward suspicious text messages to 7726.
- Any scam or misleading advertisements can be reported to the Advertising Standards Authority and the internet platform hosting it.
- Follow the advice on HMRC SCAM Advice.
What to do if you suspect you have fallen victim to an HMRC scam
- Immediately contact your bank and alert them to the issue. In some cases, your bank may refund the payment, but the likelihood of them doing so depends entirely on the circumstances, including how you paid the money.
- Report the incident to Action Fraud. Run by the City of London Police, Action Fraud is the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You will receive a crime number, and the matter will be sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, whose job it is to review a case and evaluate whether there is sufficient information to refer it to a police force to pursue.
If you require any HMRC-related advice, our dedicated HMRC team are here to help. We couple our legal expertise with a strong commercial focus gleaned from decades of working for leading public sector bodies and private businesses. We regularly liaise with HMRC on behalf of our clients and understand how to achieve the best possible results in the most cost-effective way.
We have a wealth of experience in representing clients in all matters involving HMRC, ranging from tax investigations and disputes, to issues arising from the Covid-19 relief schemes. We have an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of all HMRC departments and how to achieve the optimum outcome on your behalf. Our dedicated HMRC team of solicitors and barristers are on hand to assist you with any HMRC-related disputes.
If you would like to have a free confidential discussion with a member of our team in relation to an HMRC dispute, please either make a Free Request For Call Back or call us directly on 01908 414990 and we will be pleased to help you.