The police are receiving a number of queries regarding telephone calls purporting to be HMRC, which demand immediate payment of overdue amounts, and threaten to report individuals to the police and the court if they don’t pay as instructed.
The demands can take various forms, including asking the individual to attend a local store and purchase gift cards, then read the gift card number over the phone as payment. Please be aware of this form of scam as HMRC will never:
- call to demand money immediately, without having written to the taxpayer first;
- use texts or emails to inform individuals of tax rebates or penalties; or
- ask for personal or payment information by email or text.
The incidence of fake emails purporting to be from HMRC or their bank also increases at this time of year, so we are reminding everyone to be suspicious of emails which:
- use a generic address such as Dear customer;
- include spelling mistakes and poor grammar;
- stress that urgent action is required;
- have a from address which doesn’t match the apparent sender;
- contain links to bogus websites.
Written by the Tax Advice Network