HMRC acts to combat spoofing of helpline numbers

10 Jun 2019

The Revenue has introduced new controls which prevent ‘spoofing’ or mimicking of its most used and recognisable telephone numbers. This action has been taken in response to a significant increase in phone scams, now reaching almost one hundred thousand reports.

The ‘spoofing’ scam worked as taxpayers would receive calls and, on checking the numbers online, would find they appeared to belong to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This often led people to believe fake calls were real and enabled fraud.

Since the controls were introduced in April this year, HMRC says the number of phone scams spoofing genuine inbound HMRC numbers has reduced to zero.

A spokesperson for the Revenue comments: "HMRC will only ever call you asking for payment on a debt that you are already aware of, either having received a letter about it, or after you’ve told us you owe some tax, for example through a Self Assessment return. Changes the department makes this month also mean you will never have to read aloud your card details to an operator."

Suspicious calls and emails claiming to be from HMRC should be reported to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599. In the case of financial loss contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.

If you have any concerns regarding your tax return or other related matters, our experts at Beavis Morgan are available to assist. We take the hassle of dealing with HMRC away from you, so you don’t need to liaise directly with them. We are also able to advise on all aspects of tax whether compliance or planning.

Contact Paul Attridge or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information and assistance.