Warning over tax scam

A warning has been made for people in the isles to be wary of a new tax scam.

Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM say fraudsters are calling taxpayers stating they are from HMRC and that the individual is at risk of being sued as they have overdue tax.

RSM says the tactic is used as a trigger to extract personal details including bank information. However, the call is bogus and could lead to confidential personal data being disclosed.

Karen Robertson, associate director at RSM in Lerwick, said: “Due to the severity of the allegation a call from HMRC may not seem out of place but fraudsters are playing on the ‘shock factor’ to scare taxpayers into disclosing important personal data, which is a worrying trend. We are aware of several people having been targeted in Shetland already.

“The key thing to remember is that HMRC will not contact taxpayers in that way and simple precautions, such as exercising care with personal information and being cautious when responding to unsolicited call, will go a long way to reducing the risk.

“If you are concerned and want to speak to someone, we recommend using the official phone numbers on the Gov.uk website to speak to HMRC directly or contact your accountant.”


Add Your Comment
  • Charles L. Gallagher

    • July 29th, 2018 15:08

    Can I recommend to private individuals to buy a BT, Call Guardian Phone (£50/60 approx) this allows users to screen calls and also to permanently ‘BLOCK’ these numbers. But beware they are as fly as a barrel load of monkeys and they are constantly changing the numbers they use. However you can not only block numbers but you can block a whole exchange area.

    I bought one on the recommendation of Vic Thomas and it is quite brilliant well worth the cost.

  • David Spence

    • July 30th, 2018 13:24

    What surprises me Charlie, why BT and other telecommunications companies allow such calls to get through. Surely if a rogue company is trying to rip-off the consumer by fraudulent means, the telecommunications company should make every effort to block or investigate such actions and prevent this from happening? I am sure they would have the means to locate where such calls are coming from and to block this number from this location (location even down to a single house)?

    However, one also has to look into why telecommunications companies allow this to happen and what money do they make from such calls? Would it be counter-productive to them to block such numbers?

    The telecommunications companies may say ‘ There is nothing we can do to prevent such numbers getting through ‘ but they can contradict this by restricting or banning you from using your phone if you have not payed your bill on time. So the means to restrict or ban such numbers is possible, I think?

    I do think they allow this to happen because they make money from it, no matter what financial damage such calls can bring to people.


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