Fraudsters scam taxpayers with vishing calls to mobiles

The latest scam to hit taxpayers is a call to mobile phone numbers from fraudsters posing as HMRC officials requesting immediate payment of £500 in so-called vishing attacks

Taxpayers are being told that the tax bill relates to unresolved tax issues dating back 10 years and the fraudsters ask for immediate payment by credit card. However, HMRC does not even accept credit card payments anymore so anyone being told to pay by credit card should immediately be on alert and notify HMRC of the scam.

It appears that the company has accessed old mailing addresses and frequently cites the wrong postcode when the taxpayer asks where the information has come from.

In general, HMRC said it does ‘make calls but normally the customer would have received a written warning first’ and only contacts taxpayers by phone following a written warning, for example about an unpaid tax bill, or late payment.

However, it is possible that third parties would contact taxpayers to chase debt. HMRC uses debt collection agencies to chase tax debts and these agencies call taxpayers to discuss and secure payment and to sort out unpaid bills. These calls would always follow printed communication with the recalcitrant taxpayer.

An HMRC spokesperson told Accountancy said: ‘We are aware that some customers have received telephone calls claiming to be from HMRC requesting personal information/bank account details in order to receive a tax refund, or to demand money for an unpaid tax bill.

‘HMRC takes security very seriously but you need to be alert. If you cannot verify the identity of the person making the call you should not disclose your personal details. You should report this to Action Fraud using the following link.’

If in doubt about the source of the phone call, it is important to check any correspondence and letters chasing payment. There will be no unsolicited demands for payment.

Debt collection agencies used by HMRC are:

  • 1st Locate (trading as LCS)
  • Advantis Credit Ltd
  • Akinika Debt Recovery Ltd
  • Apex Credit Management Ltd
  • Bluestone Credit Management Ltd
  • CCS Collect (also known as Commercial Collection Services Ltd)
  • Drydensfairfax Solicitors
  • Fredrickson International Ltd
  • Moorcroft
  • Past Due Credit Solutions (PDCS)
  • Resolvecall Ltd
  • Rossendales Ltd
  • Walker Love

Information about debt collection agencies on the HMRC roster is available here

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