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HMRC or not HMRC?

HMRC or not HMRC?

I had a call this evening at 18:06 from this number 0845 300 3950. The caller stated he was from HMRC and wanted to speak to a Mr ****** who is one of my clients.

Told him he had come through to the agent and he asked me to confirm certain details. I refused on the grounds that I did not know who he was and as he rang me then he should know all the dtails anyway.

At this point he became quite irate saying that it was extremely iimportant that he got in touch with Mr ****** and that if I wasn't prepared to either answer his security questions or telephone another number he would escalate the matter to a higher level.

Asked him if he was threatening me and told him not to be so aggressive and arrogant.

Asked him to send me a letter and I will respond - said HMRC had already sent a number of letters and would not send anymore. Told him I had not received any and would'nt it be normal practice that as an agent I should've received them? He agreed that I should but he was stilll going to escalate the matter and hung up on me.

I have tried doing a trace on this number but nothing shows up on the HMRC website but quite a few comments on various chat areas. Seems to be something to do with tax credits.

Anybody else had the same experience?

If it is a genuine HMRC call when are they going to learn that we just don't give personal details over the phone to someone who rings you out of the blue - even if they are genuine. How are we supposed to know if they are or not?


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By Moltke
14th Jul 2009 22:01

Appears to be a con

but with arrogant and unhelpful staff wasting your time I can see how you would think it was a legitimate call from HMRC.

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By ACDWebb
15th Jul 2009 09:55

On the face of it probably not
Look here -

The correct number is 0845 300 3900

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15th Jul 2009 12:23

The number taht actually rang me
is definitely 0845 300 3950. Just checked it on my phone log

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15th Jul 2009 13:43

Data Protection
If you gave personal information out to some unauthenticated person who calls you out of the blue, then you would clearly be looking at a
potential Data Protection Act breach - as you wouldn't be protecting your client's data by verifying the person had authority to have it.

'authenticated' does not include someone saying "I'm from the HMRC...really I am....cross my heart"

I know DPA get the blame for all sorts of things - but this is a pretty clear case.

Maybe HMRC should come up with some kind of reverse version of the Government Gateway ID - so they can quote an ID number that only you would know.

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By Anonymous
15th Jul 2009 13:55

Appears to be HMRC

Interestingly had similar problem with my bank when they called me about an ISA. They demanded I prove who I was which I declined until they proved to me they were my bank.

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15th Jul 2009 14:42

HMRC don't get it
We had this a number of times - we refused to give client details over the phone unless the hmrc person could validate that they were who they said they were and that they had the full client details in front of them. Pretty much the same as they ask us when we call them.

They said they couldn't go through that security due to data protection - I have suggested countless times that they refer to their managers and get hmrc to work out a sensible and clear method of making contact with us which doesn't involve us giving away information.

In almost all cases they have become quite irritated.

I doubt it has gone very far....

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By Anonymous
15th Jul 2009 15:38

us too
We have had several calls too.

We have made sure all staff know not to divulge any such security information and ask the caller to write in.

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