We have recently been contacted by a couple of our clients saying they have received phone calls claiming to be from H M Revenue & Customs. One such phone call started with an automated message stating that "This is Her Majestys Revenue & Customs. We have been trying to reach you to let you know we are filing a law suit against you." It then continued to say "To speak to your case officer, press one". This was in fact a scam phone call. Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, have noticed a growing trend in these types of phone calls attempting to scare taxpayers into making payments to fraudsters. Action Fraud note that the current trend is to ask for payment in iTunes vouchers as these can be easily redeemed and sold on.
The moral of the story therefore is to be wary of anyone calling out of the blue who claims you owe them a debt. Certainly in the case of H M Revenue & Customs you will normally have been notified of any outstanding liability by letter multiple times before they consider taking legal action. Similarly, H M Revenue & Customs remind taxpayers that they will never use texts or emails to notify them of tax rebates or to ask for personal information. If you ever grow suspicious of a caller, try to verify their identity and ultimately, if you cannot satisfy yourself that they are who they say they are, end the call.