Fraud

1st June 2018

Fraud is a gigantic area which I would never be able to discuss fully in one blog however, after a recent run-in with a fake HMRC line; I did want to make you aware of a few key things to look out for or to be aware of when dealing with possible fraud.

It’s important to remember that HMRC will never notify you of a tax rebate by email or text and they will never ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email or text. Therefore if you ever receive an email or text in relation to any such matters it is important to report this as soon as possible.

Please follow the link to see how to report fraud to HMRC:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/customs-excise-and-vat-fraud-reporting

As well as this, if you are contacted by an unknown number or a number claiming to be HMRC and you are unsure as to why you are receiving the call, I would always recommend ignoring this call or questioning the caller while not disclosing any of your personal information. Remember that if the call is important the caller will leave a voice message or they will contact you by other means. You are the judge; if something does not feel right then do not be afraid to question what you are being told. Do not give out personal details over the phone or by email without being 100% sure of who you are handing over this information to. Not all fraudsters are as obvious as the Prince who wants to marry you for £5,000,000. Never be afraid to question, you have every right to do so, after all it’s your personal data you are protecting.

Be aware that calling back numbers you do not know can be costly as these are often premium rate numbers and will start charging you as soon as you hit dial. Also if you hang up on a fraudulent cold caller it is possible that they are holding the phone line so that whichever number you call next goes through to them as they did not end the call. Therefore if someone phones claiming to be from HMRC rather than hanging up and calling HMRC try using the HMRC web chat or contacting your accountant to see if they can contact HMRC on your behalf. Take note of the number if possible and the name of the caller as all this information will help if this is later reported.

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud you can contact Action Fraud by following the below link:

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

or by calling:

0300 123 2040.

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