HMRC has saved anyone over 2.4m by tackling fraudsters that trick them into using premium rate non published numbers for services the organisation offers up?nothing.
Scammers create websites that seem to be comparable to HMRC’s official site after which direct people to numbers with extortionate costs compared to the low cost with zero cost service HMRC provides. Internet websites promote non-HMRC premium rate phone numbers as a technique of reaching HMRC, but these are merely call forwarding services which connect callers to HMRC in the significant price. HMRC’s own 0300 numbers are typically free or charged for the national landline rate. Sometimes, sites charge for forwarding information to HMRC which can be provided cost-free through hmrc.gov.uk.
HMRC has successfully challenged the ownership of the websites, masquerading as official websites, and taken them out of your hands of cheats. Analysis indicates that had HMRC not taken this process next the public would’ve lost 2.4m in order to those phone scams.
Treasury Minister Mel Stride, the Financial Secretary towards Treasury said: “We are aware that HMRC is one of spoofed government brand as criminals make an effort to use the incontrovertible fact that we all have some involvement together with the tax authority. In this particular case, scammers try to dupe the populace into paying quite a bit for services that exist for nothing or low cost.
“This is actually a brazen con, charging premium rates whilst simply redirecting calls to the real HMRC numbers which can be found at low or no cost. It’s really a evidence of the difficult work of HMRC that they have prevented criminals extracting 2.4m on the public.
“The public comes direct to gov.uk to receive genuine HMRC contact numbers. These will never be premium rate numbers. People should really be alert for sponsored adverts, websites charging for government services which may be anticipated to remain free and those with disclaimers denying association with HMRC or government.”
Consumer Minister Andrew Griffiths MP said: “Anyone can become a victim of scams and also the cost is often devastating, so it is great to see HMRC cracking on these bogus websites and protecting the public’s purse.
“This Scams Awareness Month I’m encouraging whoever has fallen foul of false mobile to speak up, and we can stamp scams out.”