HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) warned customers about a telephone scam involving threats of fines for late payments after customers have already made these payments [Security Update – HMRC Scam].
How the Scam Works
Customers receive a call from a scammer posing as an HMRC agent approximately a week after making their normal payments. The scammer informs them their payment was late, and customers will receive a fine. When customers check and confirm the payment had been made, the scammer says the payment was made to the wrong account. The scammer tells customers to make the payment again to the “correct” account to avoid fines, and the payment will be refunded into their account. The scammer provides beneficiary information to the customer, including a new bank account number and sort code. Customers become aware of the fraudulent activity when their bank flags the suspicious transaction shortly after the second payment is made.
Reporting HMRC scams
HMRC has a webpage informing customers how to report suspicious emails, phone calls, and text messages. There are also examples of phishing emails and other scams. Victims of these scams should report them to Action Fraud. To help HMRC investigations, email the full details of the scam to [email protected] (i.e., date of the call, phone number used, and content of the call).