Scam calls supposedly from HMRC

Has anyone ever responded?

Didn't find your answer?

I've had a cluster of spam calls recently with a robotic voice saying I'm about to be arrested because of tax outstanding.  Or a new variant talking about NI disrepancies.

Has anyone ever pressed '1' to speak to someone?  I'm slightly curious about what the script is from there and how well they would be able respond to someone that actually knows a bit about tax.

Replies (20)

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By Paul D Utherone
30th Jun 2021 09:09

I tried once when I was bored & wanted to play. The foreign voice hung up on me virtually immediately, so I had no fun that day :(

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By Duggimon
30th Jun 2021 09:49

So far as I know, some of these types of calls connect you to a premium rate line if you press what they tell you to, although others are just actual people trying to get you to transfer your alleged outstanding tax to a bank account.

From accounts I heard they're not going to debate the finer points of tax, they will tell you there'll be a warrant out for your arrest if you don't make a transfer immediately.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By Hugo Fair
30th Jun 2021 10:02

Pressing 1 typically also adds your phone number to a subset of the database they're using (marked as something like 'potentially gullible') ... so you can then expect many more calls (and not just from that particular set of scammers - as the data gets passed around).

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
By Paul D Utherone
30th Jun 2021 16:53

...it's my 'burner' phone ;)

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By Leywood
30th Jun 2021 10:25

I took one such call whilst in my car (in a car park!), but didnt press one and just sat and listened. Was auto connected after a while, but then it just cut out.

I hate it when you dont to get to play with them.

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By Jane Wanless
30th Jun 2021 12:29

I've replied a couple of times. The first, I was asked for name & DOB details and I pointed out that they'd called me so they should prove who they were before I handed over any details. They hung up.
The second time I gave a false name & address. Unfortunately the postcode mustn't have matched whatever database they use so they hung up again.
I've now learned the postcode of the police station round the corner from us, so if they call again I'm ready to argue that I live in the caretakers cottage.

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Replying to janewanless:
By Paul D Utherone
30th Jun 2021 16:58

I use police car reg no's, or back in the day the DofE's Range Rover and would tell Accident scammers "Some Greek bloke ran me off the road"

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By JD
01st Jul 2021 09:40

I tend to leave such calls (including unsolicited sales calls ) talking to the radio/TV suitable device of choice.

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By Ammie
01st Jul 2021 10:18

I have.

I advised them that I won't pay and suggest they visit me mob handed or if it helps let me know the court date and location so I can attend.

Seems to fall upon deaf ears!

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
18th Apr 2023 17:14

Nearly two years on and this one is still doing the rounds. I got a call this morning from an 07477 mobile number advising me that a letter HMRC sent me had been returned.

In a neutral, American announcer voice, the automated lady told me that the department was planning to take legal proceedings against me.

“Press 1 to speak to our legal officer,” she instructed.

It was pretty transparent, and well documented here and elsewhere on the Net, including HMRC: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-...

But the culprits must still be reaping the rewards if they keep on playing the game. Contrary to those who like to make sport out of these occasions, I'm with Duggimon - pretty certain pressing 1 will invoke some interesting charges and in the absence of a burner, I'm not keen to get more of them. I'n still scarred by all the nuisance PPI calls I got.

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Replying to John Stokdyk:
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By SXGuy
31st Jan 2024 08:21

A fair few clients have called me in panic from receiving these calls in the past. So there's probably quite a few people unrepresented who fall for it.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By FactChecker
31st Jan 2024 13:46

Sadly, John is no longer in a position to read your reply.

But this demonstrates why Aweb need to get a grip on whatever (whether human or algorithm) it is that causes old threads to be consistently be re-promoted (under 'trending' or whatever).

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Paul Crowley
20th Feb 2024 16:34

Still trending, in the 4 highlighted in Any Answers

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Paul Crowley
01st Apr 2024 14:18

Still trending, in the Any answers quartet.

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By Cora 28
03rd Apr 2024 15:01

I had a similar call today from a mobile number, instant red flag. Of course the whole shebang with being caught with tax evasion and so forth.
“Press 1 to connect to an agent” - although I knew hmrc would never call from a mobile number, I thought it wouldn’t do any harm.
Got connected with a lady with a decent accent, asking for my name and DOB. Again, I thought, no harm no foul they can’t do much with these so quickly said my name and dob.

The lady said they found my taxes have not been completed correctly and I might be in legal trouble. She then proceeds to ask who is doing my taxes.
I said “I am employed, so the company is doing the taxes automatically”.
Unfortunately she stopped the call right there so I couldn’t find out more. But that’s my experience. I of course blocked the number and reported it to hmrc so they add it to the naughty list.

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Replying to Cora 28:
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By FactChecker
03rd Apr 2024 18:18

" I thought, no harm no foul they can’t do much with these so quickly said my name and dob" ... you are kidding?
Scamsters now use AI to match and consolidate part-details gleaned from a variety of sources (including your social posts as well as outright hacking and cold calls) to build not just an ever more comprehensive dataset on you, but also combined with a marketing profile - a bit like Google et al but with pure criminal intent.

If you really feel the need to provide info (and have the spare time to waste) then the least you should is to give them entirely spurious answers ... but that'll only be a pinprick in the scale of their operations, so ending the call (and blocking the number) is the only sane reaction.

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Paul Crowley
03rd Apr 2024 18:28

I put an incorrect DoB on Facebook
Then a barrage of happy birthdays from those that knew the true date.
I would say that lots of ID stuff is impossible to keep secret.

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Cora 28
03rd Apr 2024 19:44

No, yeah, I totally agree, I shouldn’t have. It was the first time I got spam called with the “press 1” and the automated voice so I was only cautious it could be a scam call but wasn’t 100% sure until I started speaking to the lady. In all honesty my name is pretty difficult to understand so I don’t think she was able to comprehend anything other than my first name. By no harm no foul I meant I cannot get hacked or any financial harm. If I became a target now for spam and scam calls I’ll just know to block them immediately as I normally do OR change my number if it becomes extreme. Could’ve definitely been handled better on my part which I admit, but I was not intentionally giving them information, I was cautious but in the moment was kind of thinking “what if, let’s just see”.

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Replying to Cora 28:
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By Leywood
03rd Apr 2024 19:13

Your phone number will have been sold to several other scammers by now!!

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Replying to Leywood:
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By Cora 28
03rd Apr 2024 19:37

Yeah but that was the case anyway the moment I responded/got called isn’t it? I usually don’t respond to numbers I don’t know but unfortunately I was actually expecting a call today so they got me. And then I was silly to press on 1, I admit.

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