Trading Standards Warning on Bogus Phone Calls

Residents are being urged to be wary of bogus telephone calls claiming to be from HMRC. There have been numerous reports of attempted frauds starting with a telephone call or recorded message rather than the more typical email or scam texts, and it seems to be aimed at elderly people in particular.

Recorded messages are being left telling residents that HMRC are filing a lawsuit against them and to press 1 to speak to an advisor otherwise it will result in serious legal consequences. The tone of the message has been reported as being aggressive, and some residents have been left upset and concerned that there were problems with their tax.

One elderly resident who received such a call was so concerned they did press 1 and as suspected, they were asked for their bank details on the pretence this was needed to make a payment for the arrears.

Debbie Morgan, Coventry Trading Standards Enforcement Officer, advised:
“HMRC, banks and the police will never ring people in this manner or ask for personal or bank details over the phone. If you receive a call of this type, we advise that you hang up immediately. If you have elderly friends or relatives who may be vulnerable to this scam, please talk to them and make them aware.”

Anyone who receives a call is urged to report these incidents on the Action Fraud website, or you can call them on 0300 123 2040 (charged at your normal network rate).

This latest scam is being investigated by HMRC fraud section. HMRC has published advice with genuine HMRC contacts and how to recognise scams which can be found on their website. HMRC also advise that if any details are inadvertently disclosed, contact them immediately on or telephone 0300 200 3300.