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Received an automated message saying HMRC have taken out a warrant for your arrest? This is a scam

Published on 23 August 2018

The LITRG have become aware of a new telephone scam, purporting to be from the police telling the listener that HMRC have taken out a warrant for their arrest. The message then gives a warrant number and requests the listener to contact HMRC. Do not respond!

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When the call is answered a recorded voice message plays purporting to be from the ‘UK Police’ telling you that they have received a complaint from HMRC’s tax department and that there is a warrant out for your arrest. They then give out a phone number to contact for more details. This is clearly a fake message and attempted fraud – do not respond! These fraudsters often target unsuspecting vulnerable and elderly people who are more likely to panic in such a situation.

The LITRG reported on a similar scam in April ‘Received an automated message from HMRC saying you are under investigation? This is a scam’ and highlighted some key points to remember if you are a recipient of such a call:

  • HMRC sometimes use phone calls or automated messages but generally using a reference number you that you recognise. You can find a current list of digital and other contact issued from HMRC on the GOV.UK website.
  • Telephone numbers can be faked and you should never trust a number you see on your display, even if it looks like an official HMRC number. If you receive a suspicious call, end it immediately. Remember to double check the number before moving forward – you can confirm the official call centre numbers on GOV.UK. You can then call HMRC directly to check if it is a genuine call.
  • You should report all incidents to Action Fraud or call them on 0300 123 2040 (charged at the normal network rate). They are open Monday to Friday 9:00 – 18:00.
  • You should also report the full details to HMRC (date, time, phone number used and content of the call) via email ([email protected]).

You may also want to read our other news piece regarding receiving an automated message from HMRC saying you are under investigation.


Contact: Meredith McCammond (please use our Contact Us form) or follow us on Twitter: @LITRGNews

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