Warning over new phone scam that threatens people with lawsuit

HMRC have confirmed that the phone calls are not genuine
HMRC have confirmed that the phone calls are not genuine

People in Nottinghamshire are being warned of a new telephone scam in which they are threatened with a lawsuit.

The scam sees people received a phone call from someone claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) who says they will be filing a lawsuit if they are not paid immediately.

Nottinghamshire County Council's Trading Standards team has received a number of complaints about the scam, which requires the caller to 'press one to speak to a caseworker in order to make an immediate payment'.

But HMRC has confirmed that it is a scam, along with any telephone calls offering a tax refund if the caller provides bank or credit card information.

The calls have been made using a variety of phone numbers and HMRC is asking anyone received a call like this to email them at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Vice-Chairman of the Council’s Communities and Place Committee, said: “There are currently a wide range of scams purporting to be from the HMRC involving payments and refunds, which can also be in the form of an email or a direct message via social media.

“These telephone calls in particular put people on the spot and require them to make a quick decision, so we are urging people to ignore all such calls.”

A 65-year-old Nottinghamshire woman who received a message claiming to be from the HMRC said: “Having just retired it was alarming and upsetting to receive an answerphone message informing me that HMRC had a warrant out for me for my arrest.

“I had to press one on my phone to speak to a caseworker and thankfully this was followed by a dead tone. I’ve contacted the HMRC and they told me they only ever contact people by letter, never by email or phone call.

“I have been a very risk adverse person over the years so I felt very stupid afterwards.”