A number of our clients have been on the receiving end of bogus calls/emails purporting to be from HMRC – either threatening legal action for unpaid taxes or offering refunds.
Our experience is that these can be very well drafted and the telephone scams in particular have fooled a couple of our clients, one being a very elderly, recently widowed lady who was left extremely distressed.
She had been given a call back number with the threat of the bailiffs if she did not settle unpaid tax over the phone.
Fortunately, the first contact she made was with us. We knew this would be a scam but just to reassure her, called the number she had been given. It very quickly became evident that the caller knew nothing about her tax affairs and was most certainly not representing HMRC. All was put right with the proverbial flea for the caller, and some tea and sympathy for our client. But it’s not a happy outcome for some victims.
HMRC have issued updated guidance on these scams, with examples of the form they might take. You can view them here: Phishing emails and bogus contact
Be warned, and take care!