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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Callum
    • By MSE Callum 19th Mar 19, 11:53 AM
    • 567Posts
    • 191Thanks
    MSE Callum
    Beware 'HMRC' phone scams - surge in calls telling victims they owe taxman £1,000s - MSE News
    • #1
    • 19th Mar 19, 11:53 AM
    Beware 'HMRC' phone scams - surge in calls telling victims they owe taxman £1,000s - MSE News 19th Mar 19 at 11:53 AM
    Fraudsters are increasingly carrying out sophisticated phone scams which can involve them threatening victims with immediate arrest if they don't pay £1,000s on the spot - and bogus calls in some cases appear to come from HMRC's telephone number. If you receive an urgent demand to pay tax over the phone, beware...
    Read the full story:
    'Beware 'HMRC' phone scams - surge in calls telling victims they owe taxman £1,000s'

    Click reply below to discuss. If you havenít already, join the forum to reply.
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Page 1
    • thebigstillmeister
    • By thebigstillmeister 19th Mar 19, 11:59 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    thebigstillmeister
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 19, 11:59 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 19, 11:59 AM
    Got this call on my mobile about 15mins ago,

    Automated call telling me it was HMRC and a fraud case has been issued against me and if i don't press '1' now then a warrant for my arrest will be issued immediately,

    Makes a change from the 'we're calling about your recent car accident' i guess,
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 19th Mar 19, 12:50 PM
    • 2,351 Posts
    • 1,668 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 19, 12:50 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 19, 12:50 PM
    Had one this morning just as i was heading out to work.
    I "accidentally" hung up. Which is what I suggest everybody else does.
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 19th Mar 19, 1:08 PM
    • 13,554 Posts
    • 18,830 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 19, 1:08 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 19, 1:08 PM
    I've had about 3 of these in the last month or so - but the scammers have (so far) always timed their calls to when I was away from my phone, so they only get my voicemail, but don't leave a message.

    Why doesn't HMRC actually do something about these scum? Like find them, prosecute them and then absolutely take everything they have as punishment?

    Or is it because that would require some work to be done?
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
    • LHW99
    • By LHW99 19th Mar 19, 2:51 PM
    • 2,012 Posts
    • 1,860 Thanks
    LHW99
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 19, 2:51 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 19, 2:51 PM
    I've had one last year, but they did leave a message, and it was evident from what was said that they just hoped someone would be scared enough to ring back - HMRC wouldn't leave the type of details on an answerphone if they don't know who would be likely to pick up the phone.
    Reported it, as a vulnerable person would have found it very intimidating.
    • JosephK
    • By JosephK 19th Mar 19, 3:17 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    JosephK
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 19, 3:17 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 19, 3:17 PM
    Yeah, had similar call the other day, recorded massage that arrest warrant issued

    Tried to report to HMRC but their e-mail notification system not working - surprise, surprise. Trouble with this type of call is they keep popping up on different numbers from exchanges all round the country. Relevant authorities do not give the impression of trying too hard to stop them.
    • I luv cats
    • By I luv cats 19th Mar 19, 3:52 PM
    • 14,084 Posts
    • 72,290 Thanks
    I luv cats
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 19, 3:52 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 19, 3:52 PM
    IRS / CRA Tax scams are rife, (Scam-baiting examples on Youtube) must be turning their attention to the UK

    Fake IRS / CRA mainly get people to buy pre-paid cards like itunes. (Bit-coin has been used with Social Security scams)
    • spenderdave
    • By spenderdave 19th Mar 19, 4:55 PM
    • 485 Posts
    • 281 Thanks
    spenderdave
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 19, 4:55 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 19, 4:55 PM
    It is hard to understand how people get taken in by these scams. As someone who does self assessment each year I know with certainty that I don't owe them a penny and I also know they normally communicate with me via the post - though last time they used email to remind me of my payment (not telling me the amount). Any phone call like this, even if from a plausible as against faked number, must quite definitely be a scam.
    • londoninvestor
    • By londoninvestor 19th Mar 19, 8:36 PM
    • 1,174 Posts
    • 1,030 Thanks
    londoninvestor
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 19, 8:36 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 19, 8:36 PM
    Makes a change from the 'we're calling about your recent car accident' i guess,
    Originally posted by thebigstillmeister
    Out of interest, what do they try to get out of you in those car accident calls? I've had a few but they always hang up as soon as I speak - I need to practice my innocent, unsuspecting sounding voice I guess
    • Kazwaz
    • By Kazwaz 20th Mar 19, 5:24 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Kazwaz
    I've have witnessed first hand vulnerable, elderly being taken in by this and other scams. I wouldn't be so quick to judge.
    The suffering it causes is huge and diminishes confidence.
    Make people aware but don't judge please
    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 20th Mar 19, 8:26 AM
    • 695 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    tempus_fugit
    Out of interest, what do they try to get out of you in those car accident calls? I've had a few but they always hang up as soon as I speak - I need to practice my innocent, unsuspecting sounding voice I guess
    Originally posted by londoninvestor
    I never got to find out as, like with you, they would hang up as soon as I asked them any kind of question. It just seemed like pointless harassment as I couldn't understand what they were trying to achieve. I now don't answer any calls where I don't know the number, so just avoid all such calls. They are not worth it.
    Retired at age 56 after having "light bulb moment" due to reading MSE and its forums. Have been converted to the "budget to zero" concept and use YNAB for all monthly budgeting and long term goals.

    Pedant point: There is no such word or construction as "I's", the word to use is "my".
    • oldagetraveller
    • By oldagetraveller 20th Mar 19, 9:57 AM
    • 3,347 Posts
    • 1,829 Thanks
    oldagetraveller
    "Why doesn't HMRC actually do something about these scum? Like find them, prosecute them and then absolutely take everything they have as punishment?"
    Probably because they are chasing people who have made the slightest error on their tax return.
    Or even ensuring those with offshore accounts etc. are left well alone.
    R.I.P. U.K. Democracy.
    • thebigstillmeister
    • By thebigstillmeister 20th Mar 19, 10:08 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    thebigstillmeister
    Out of interest, what do they try to get out of you in those car accident calls? I've had a few but they always hang up as soon as I speak - I need to practice my innocent, unsuspecting sounding voice I guess
    Originally posted by londoninvestor

    I had a few weeks where I just kept getting them, womens voice pretending to actually be a real person, a small pause to let you say hello, then says 'we've heard you've recently been in an accident is that right?', then there is a pause, so i few times i said yes,. and you get through

    First guy answered and I asked him to confirm which vehicle it is as I have several, he said, er, im afraid I dont have that on record, so then asked him according to his details where I had been hit, and he said,. er, back left? hung up at that point,

    second time guy asked if I had been injured, I said yes, he asked what the injury was, so I said unfortunately it was fatal and I had died,. I waited to see how long he paused before i hung up again,

    Got bored after that and just blocked all the numbers, seems to have finally stopped,
    • bubblesbonbon
    • By bubblesbonbon 20th Mar 19, 10:18 AM
    • 773 Posts
    • 1,893 Thanks
    bubblesbonbon
    The Daily Mail had an article regarding these goons - if you can be bothered to read it...


    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6824093/How-fake-taxmen-targeted-64-year-old-mourning-mothers-death-scam-19-000.html
    "It's nice to be important but more important to be nice"

    John Templeton 1912-2008
    • londoninvestor
    • By londoninvestor 20th Mar 19, 11:25 AM
    • 1,174 Posts
    • 1,030 Thanks
    londoninvestor
    second time guy asked if I had been injured, I said yes, he asked what the injury was, so I said unfortunately it was fatal and I had died,. I waited to see how long he paused before i hung up again,
    Originally posted by thebigstillmeister
    I have also just died
    • crlister
    • By crlister 20th Mar 19, 6:21 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    crlister
    Would it not be possible for some-one as influential as Martin Lewis to try speaking to the BBC and ITV and ask them to include at least the big scams into their news programs
    The more people that know about these scams the less likely they are to be caught out by them
    Also if the scammers know that most people are aware of what they are doing then they would probably be less likely to pursue their illegal activity
    Programs like Watchdog do try to make people aware but they are only on intermittently where-as the news programs are on everyday and possibly attract a much wider audience
    Surely this must be worth a try
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 21st Mar 19, 12:06 AM
    • 10,662 Posts
    • 13,067 Thanks
    eskbanker
    Would it not be possible for some-one as influential as Martin Lewis to try speaking to the BBC and ITV and ask them to include at least the big scams into their news programs
    The more people that know about these scams the less likely they are to be caught out by them
    Also if the scammers know that most people are aware of what they are doing then they would probably be less likely to pursue their illegal activity
    Programs like Watchdog do try to make people aware but they are only on intermittently where-as the news programs are on everyday and possibly attract a much wider audience
    Surely this must be worth a try
    Originally posted by crlister
    Too simplistic!

    News programmes have a remit to disseminate news about events at home and abroad.

    The likes of Watchdog and Martin Lewis's show are suitable platforms for stuff like scam alerts IMHO - just because news bulletins are higher profile, that doesn't make them an appropriate vehicle for relaying repeated 'public information film' style warnings about the latest flavours of scam (of which this is just one of many), and if news programmes were to be hijacked for such purposes then they'd lose both credibility and audience share....
    • crlister
    • By crlister 21st Mar 19, 6:45 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    crlister
    So in your opinion the British Public would not be interested in how to avoid being scammed out of their hard earned money
    I am not suggesting that a large proportion of the program should be dedicated to this topic but just a quick mention of the latest scams which could quite easily take the place of one of the constant reminders of their "Main Story" which I have just watched anyway or even a brief mention at the end of the program on a weekly basis would help
    I obviously do respect your views about my suggestion but something needs to be done about this - we may all think that we are clever enough to spot these scams but obviously people are still being caught out - the banks are trying their best but ultimately it is not their fault if I give my details to a total stranger
    There needs to be more warnings given by all media types to help to try and at least reduce the impact this is having on honest people who have worked hard for their money
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 21st Mar 19, 10:48 PM
    • 2,351 Posts
    • 1,668 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    So in your opinion the British Public would not be interested in how to avoid being scammed out of their hard earned money
    I am not suggesting that a large proportion of the program should be dedicated to this topic but just a quick mention of the latest scams which could quite easily take the place of one of the constant reminders of their "Main Story" which I have just watched anyway or even a brief mention at the end of the program on a weekly basis would help
    Originally posted by crlister
    Realistically at the end of the day we all need to take responsibility for our own actions and we don't need what is effectively a mini PIF announcement at the end of the Ten o'clock news.

    And in any case it doesn't matter if a reminder is broadcast at the end of the news or ad nauseum on a 24/7 cable/satellite channel called The Scam Channel or whatever, people are still going to get scammed no matter how much one rams warnings down their throat.

    I obviously do respect your views about my suggestion but something needs to be done about this - we may all think that we are clever enough to spot these scams but obviously people are still being caught out - the banks are trying their best but ultimately it is not their fault if I give my details to a total stranger
    Indeed its not their fault - it would be your fault. In days of old we'd probably get scammed and run off to find PC Plod to report and deal with it, these days we complain to the Daily Mail instead.

    News media is not an appropriate outlay for "be aware" notifications. That's what Watchdog and friends is for. But constantly reminding people about things is the same effect as Brexit - we hear about it all day every day for the last three years, we're all sick to the back teeth of it and I dare say we all tune out. By constantly running "be aware" notifications it will have the same effect.

    There needs to be more warnings given by all media types to help to try and at least reduce the impact this is having on honest people who have worked hard for their money
    With all due respect, no there doesn't for reasons I've just explained. Not everybody has access to all media - newspapers don't go to every house, not everybody has internet or a TV.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 21st Mar 19, 11:22 PM
    • 10,662 Posts
    • 13,067 Thanks
    eskbanker
    So in your opinion the British Public would not be interested in how to avoid being scammed out of their hard earned money
    Originally posted by crlister
    Strawman argument; I said no such thing.

    My point was specifically that the main news programmes aren't an appropriate vehicle for such awareness-raising, as their remit is to report actual news....
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