Drivers beware: new HMRC scam
This week, one of our drivers was contacted by an automated telephone service claiming to be from the HMRC saying that he owed over £4,000 in tax. When he called the number back, they demanded this money and threatened to contact the police if not paid immediately. Although the driver was suspicious of the calls, it was followed up by another call a short time later from a person claiming to be from the Police (a fake Police number appeared on his mobile phone). They added yet more pressure by claiming they had been instructed by HMRC to collect the money and informing him his driving licence and passport were being frozen until payment was made.
Unfortunately, he panicked and called the fake HMRC number back and paid them £1,000 by BACS. Realising it was not genuine, he quickly called the bank to try to cancel the payment. The bank is dealing with the matter but the money may not be recovered because it was paid to a foreign bank account.
This particular scam was by phone but similar fraud messages are being sent out via emails and text message. Our advice is DO NOT return these calls or reply to the messages. If in doubt, DO NOT make any payments, instead DO contact HMRC via official telephone numbers on the HMRC website hmrc.gov.uk. The Police will NEVER be asked to retrieve money for the HMRC in this way.
Stay safe and share this information with your contacts. If you think you’ve been contacted fraudulently, you can also call or visit us through your local branch and we’ll help in any way we can.