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New scam threatens elderly with HMRC lawsuit

Last month it was reported that HMRC had successfully taken action against more than 75 scam websites, since January, linked to its services. As a result it has averted in excess of a million visits to these misleading pages. In addition, it has requested the removal of over 20,000 other malicious websites and published advice on spotting them.

However, these scams aren’t just limited to illicit websites, fraudulent emails and high-cost helplines. There is much more progress still to be made when it comes to eliminating these hoaxes altogether.

Telephone scams target the elderly

In recent months, there have been numerous reports of perpetrators making demands and threatening taxpayers over the phone.

Only this week we were contacted by an elderly client who had received a bogus telephone call. Upon answering, the recipient is met with a recorded message, allegedly from HMRC, which states that a lawsuit will be bought against them. They are then asked to contact a bogus telephone number and select ‘option 1’ to speak to the officer dealing with the case.

HMRC are aware and have confirmed that it does seem to be aimed at elderly and vulnerable individuals. It has urged people not to reply to the message or disclose personal details if they cannot verify who they are speaking to.

Remember, HMRC will never call, text or email to notify you of a rebate or penalty. It will also never request payment in this way.

Be safe, not sorry…

If you are suspicious of any telephone call that is related to your financial affairs here is what you should do:

  • If you have one, contact your tax adviser – they can reassure you about your tax or financial affairs.
  • Furthermore, if you’re suspicious, you can insist that they contact your agent directly to discuss the matter.
  • Report the incident on the Action Fraud website, or by calling 0300 123 2040.

You can find out more about which scams to look out for and how you can deal with them on the GOV.UK website.

Looking for a team of trusted tax advisers to assist with getting your affairs in order, minimising tax liabilities and ensuring you are compliant at all times? Why not contact us today.

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