Beware of Sophisticated Scams
Protect Yourself from Fraudulent HMRC Letters
9th June 2023
Duncan Parkes See profile
Recently, there has been a surge in deceptive correspondence that closely resembles legitimate letters from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and we have experienced a version sent to one of our clients in the last month. While these fraudulent letters may initially seem genuine, it is crucial to remain vigilant and identify warning signs that could indicate a scam.
Here are a few areas to consider that raise concerns when receiving such letters:
Suspicious Telephone Number
The letter may display a telephone number that closely resembles HMRC’s official contact numbers. However, conducting a simple search on websites like who-called.co.uk can reveal whether this specific number has been associated with tax fraud. This discrepancy is a red flag that demands caution.
Incorrect Payment Reference
Upon examining the letter, you may notice that the payment reference provided does not align with your personal and/or business records or financial transactions. This discrepancy is cause for suspicion and should be investigated further.
Misleading Call Requests
It is important to note that genuine HMRC letters do not typically encourage recipients to contact them directly via phone. If the letter implies that HMRC is urging individuals to initiate phone conversations, it raises doubts about its authenticity.
Safeguarding your financial interests and protecting yourself from potential scams is of paramount importance. If you receive a letter that exhibits any of the above warning signs or if you have any concerns regarding its legitimacy, one of the best things you can do is login directly to your HMRC account online as this is the source of truth. You are also welcome to reach out to Old Mill for guidance and assistance. Our team is well-versed in identifying scams and can provide the support you need to navigate these situations safely.
Remember, being proactive and staying informed are the best strategies to counter sophisticated scams. Stay vigilant, protect yourself, and rely on trusted professionals to help you navigate potential fraud attempts.