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HMRC scams – tackling premium phone call fraud

There seems to be an endless growth in illegal sites and HMRC scams (by scammers who aim to make money by claiming to be associated with HMRC).

According to HMRC:

Scammers create websites that look similar to HMRC’s official site and then direct the public to call numbers with extortionate costs in comparison to the low cost and no-cost service HMRC provides. These sites promote non-HMRC premium rate phone numbers as a means of reaching HMRC, but these are merely call forwarding services that connect callers to HMRC at a significant price. HMRC’s own 0300 numbers are mostly free or charged at the national landline rate.

In other cases, sites charge for forwarding information to HMRC which can be provided free of charge through hmrc.gov.uk.

Hapless taxpayers caught by these websites will find themselves with hefty phone costs for being routed to “free” HMRC helplines. The specific tactics and costs on each site vary, but anecdotal reports show the average victim reporting a cost of at least £15 per call.

To counter this activity, HMRC has successfully challenged the ownership of these websites, masquerading as official websites, and taken them out of the hands of cheats. Analysis has shown that had HMRC not taken this action then the public would have lost millions to these phone scams.

Readers who need to contact HMRC can find the official contact numbers at https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc.

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About Jon Pryse-Jones

Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.

An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”

Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board.  “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says.  He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.

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