People should be alert to potential scams according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after they responded to more than 1,154,300 referrals of suspicious content from the public in the past year.
The number of reports of phone scams HMRC have responded to is 443,033, 135% up on the previous year.
HMRC recommends that you do not speak to a caller if you cannot properly identify them.
They have worked with multiple telecoms companies and Ofcom to remove more than 3,000 malicious phone numbers. They have also worked with internet service providers to take down over 15,700 malicious websites.
HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, Myrtle Lloyd, said:
We’re urging all of our customers to be really careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or bank details.
There are a lot of scams out there where fraudsters are calling, texting or emailing customers claiming to be from HMRC. If you have any doubts, we suggest you don’t reply directly, and contact us yourself straight away. Search GOV.UK for our ‘scams checklist’ and to find out ‘how to report tax scams’.
The link to the government scams checklist can be found here. You can also read more information about how to recognise genuine HMRC contacts here, and learn how to report anyone you believe to be a scam caller here.