HMRC Phone Scams are Back on the Rise

While IVR systems and virtual switchboards are built for the purpose of offering genuine support to callers and customers, there are sadly still those rogue operators out there who are using advanced telephony features to help scam innocent people out of money. According to reports in the British press in recent weeks, it seems that […]

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While IVR systems and virtual switchboards are built for the purpose of offering genuine support to callers and customers, there are sadly still those rogue operators out there who are using advanced telephony features to help scam innocent people out of money. According to reports in the British press in recent weeks, it seems that HMRC scams are back on the rise again, and it is thanks to a sophisticated switchboard that some business owners and entrepreneurs are finding themselves out of pocket.

Here at CallCenter, we never provide our services for the purpose of illegal gain – for reasons that should be fairly obvious! However, as a business owner or sole trader, it really does pay to keep your eyes open for the latest scams and ruses that are rising up.

What is This Latest HMRC Scam?

Specifically, the latest HMRC scam to hit the UK sees innocent people informed that they have committed fraud. A target of the scheme will be informed that they are under suspicion of committing a crime via their tax filings – and that if they do not speak to an ‘advisor’, they may risk arrest.

Of course, such a risk does not exist. This is a scheme that, instead, encourages people to press ‘one’ when requested, so that they can speak to a so-called ‘advisor’. They will then be asked to provide information over the phone that could be used to commit theft or identity fraud.

This type of confidence scheme is, unfortunately, all too common. It is set up to prey on innocent people who may worry that they have filed their tax returns incorrectly. However, HMRC has stated outright that such calls must be ignored, and that anyone in receipt of these communications should report cases directly to their fraud intelligence team.

It is CIFAS, who is responsible for raising fraud alerts for people across the UK, who alerts us to this latest scheme and concern. Head of Fraud Intelligence, Amber Burridge, advised the press that knowing as and when to avoid scams like this has never been more important, especially in lockdown-weakened scenarios.

“It’s important we all remain vigilant to any final attempts by criminals to exploit the (lockdown) situation over the next few months,” says Ms Burridge. “When being asked to click on links and share your personal details, take your time to assess the situation and consider the impact of handing over your details.”

Are These Scams Common?

Thankfully, many scams of this nature, whether via telephone IVR or via email, are getting easier to spot and avoid. However, that doesn’t make them any less prevalent. While there are plenty of online scams these days, many of us fall victim to official-sounding messages and phone calls, especially when they are automated.

At CallCenter, we strive to provide fantastic IVR services for legal purposes. We only ever work with businesses who want to provide genuine services to their customers! However, we know that there are people out there who are still willing to try and squeeze money out of people through shady and underhanded means.

Our advice to anyone experiencing calls of these nature from anyone purporting to be HMRC should immediately end such calls. HMRC’s channels for reporting and suspecting fraud do not follow these means. You will certainly not be facing an immediate arrest on the back of fraud suspicion alone – it is a much finer process than that!

When it comes to IVR and switchboard systems for legitimate business purposes, CallCenter can help. We work hard to provide our customers with a raft of call handling supports and boosters to ensure that everyone can get to where they need to go sooner rather than later.

Are you a business owner fed up of receiving nuisance scam calls? Want to set up a phone switchboard service that will genuinely put your callers in touch with the best agents you have to hand? Now is the time to set up a service you and your customers can rely on.

Keep vigilant of anyone trying to tell you they’re someone they aren’t. Some scams might be obvious to spot, but others aren’t so blasé. Know the signs and red flags!