HMRC Scammer Exposed!

At IPS we cheered out loud as the BBC’s Money Box reported on the all-too-common number spoofing techniques used to convince the unwitting public they are ‘genuinely’ being called by HMRC and ‘genuinely’ need to pay thousands of pounds for non-specific reasons or ‘go to prison’.

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We have written extensively on the surge of cold calls and phishing emails designed to panic UK citizens into making rushed decisions involving monetary payments and actively handing over personal and bank account details.  The HMRC Scam is the one which Money Box focused on, but it follows the same pattern as those for DVLA, National Insurance, NHS and Amazon Prime.  As the report says, the moment the criminal is able to ‘spoof’ an incoming call number, and make that call (to one of your other phone lines) look like it is coming from an official number, is the moment many victims ‘fall’ under the spell of the scam.

UK Finance reports that the number of reported cases of impersonation fraud, including spoof calls, nearly doubled last year to 40,000.  We need help from our government to protect us from such appalling activities and we must not let a culture of grudging acceptance and apathy take hold.  Every single one of us would like to avoid being targeted.  Every one of us must be able to think of someone in our circle who is older or more vulnerable and would be traumatised by going through such an experience.

It does not sound at all plausible that the telecoms industries around the world cannot work together to stop this practise of the illegal spoofing of phone numbers where the caller is in fact a scammer pretending to be someone else, and usually someone from an official public body.

Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency’s National Economic Crime Centre, says the UK needs “a step change in our response” to fraud but also goes on say that we should “not trust caller id”….“for a few years” because there are so many ways that software can be used by scammers to ‘spoof’ a real number and pretend they are someone they are not.

We think it will be a very useful 4 minutes of your time when you listen to the exchange in the video above.  To start with, the reporter listens to all the elements of the scam and at 03:50 minutes he carries out what we all wish we would do in such situations, telling the scammer that he is on to him and that he won’t be doing anything foolish like giving him money.

Just click here and press PLAY on the video.

Have your say

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One Response

  1. Telephone21 says:

    I have received a call but went to voice claiming they are from the HMRC and that if I don’t pay there will be a warrant to have me arrested. I didn’t reply.

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