Bogus HMRC Calls

Published: 09 November 2020

Bogus HMRC Calls

Fake HMRC calls continue to be commonplace so please continue to alert others about them through your community networks.  For some people these calls can prove very worrying indeed - and lead to them losing hundreds of pounds.

One of these calls was recently received by a CAPASP partner.  An automated voice stated that it was HMRC and that "a tax fraud case has been registered in your name".  It instructed that the recipient must press 1 and if they do not "a warrant will be issued and you will get arrested shortly".

The government's website says you’ll never get an email, text message, message in an app (e.g. WhatsApp) or a phone call from HMRC which:
  • tells you about a tax rebate or penalty
  • asks for your personal or payment information

For more information please see HMRC's guidance on recognising scams.

Fake PayPal Emails
Action Fraud received 21,349 reports of fake PayPal phishing emails between January and September 2020 with financial losses of £7,891,077.

Online marketplace sellers receive a fake email that appears to be from PayPal, stating that the fraudster has made payment for an item.  A follow-up email then asks for tracking or order details, prompting the seller to dispatch the item.

The scam relies on the seller not verifying the payment has been received in their PayPal account before dispatching the item, leaving the seller at a loss.

If you sell goods online e.g. on eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace, do not post any item until you have verified that the payment is in your account, using the official app or website.

Report suspicious emails to