It’s come to our attention that there are a few scam / hoax calls going around at the moment. We would like to make clients aware of these to ensure you look out for the following:
Tax scams can happen at any time but are most common around key deadlines, such as when your tax return is due. With the upcoming deadline, it’s important you are aware of scam callers.
The most common call we’re hearing about at the moment is the ‘Inland Revenue’ claiming that you “owe tax, you need to pay federal taxes, there’s a warrant out for your arrest for this”
HMRC will never call you to tell you about a tax rebate / penalty or ask for payment details. They would never ask you with anything in regard to “federal taxes” as they don’t actually exist in the UK, these are American taxes. Finally, HMRC will never ‘arrest’ you for late payment, this would be passed on to a debt collection agency.
If you do receive a call from the Inland Revenue you are not sure about here’s what you can do:
- Never give out any personal information, especially card or bank details!
- Hang up and call the Inland Revenue directly
- Let us know and we will be able to advise you whether or not it is a scam
Another important call to look out for. Here’s the latest one to be aware of.
The scammer will call you and claim they are some sort of expert at Microsoft and will inform you that your PC, laptop or tablet has been infected with a virus and they will help you fix it – how kind! They will try to confuse you with computer jargon and will tell you how you can open up a Microsoft service list, which will list all of the ‘problems’ your computer currently has.
You may wonder how they would be trying to scam you. Here’s what they are trying to do and what could happen:
- Trick you into installing software where they will have access to all your personal details, passwords, online banking etc
- Convince you to visit certain websites which they will use to hack your computer
- Request credit / bank card information to bill you for them fixing it
- Direct you to websites where you will be asked to enter personal / credit information
So, how do you avoid it? Here’s what you can do:
- Never give anyone access to your device
- Never give out any personal information, passwords or banking details
- Don’t pay for any ‘help’ given
- Always hang up and report the call here: https://www.microsoft.com/security/blog/2014/09/18/how-to-report-the-microsoft-phone-scam/
Yes, even Amazon are subject to scam callers. If you receive a suspicious phone call claiming to be from ‘Amazon’ and asking for payment or offering a refund, please do not share any personal information, and hang up.
There is also a new scam call claiming that you have been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. They claim they are informing you that a hacker has logged into your account to pay for the subscription, but if you ‘press 1’ then you can cancel the payment. What actually happens if you ‘press 1’ is that you will be put through to a premium rate number, a number of which a victim was conned out of £25,000. Again, if you receive any calls claiming to be from ‘Amazon’ hang up immediately and report here: https://reporting.actionfraud.police.uk
Of course, there are many more scam callers claiming to be from all different companies and departments. Please remember to NEVER give out any personal information including bank details and if unsure hang up and contact the company directly yourself.