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HMRC phone scam. 'A lawsuit has been filed against you.'
Bhaskar Bhattacharyya
Posted: 22 December 2017 11:12:27(UTC)

Joined: 22/12/2017(UTC)
Posts: 1

Thank you for sharing. My wife received the same phone call this morning and panicked. I managed to calm her down as I realised it was a fraud. HMRC would never phone to advice of a lawsuit.But I can see that vulnerable people can be taken in by this kind of fraud.
Bruce J.
Posted: 02 January 2018 18:53:16(UTC)

Joined: 04/11/2016(UTC)
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I know that many of you will be streets ahead of me on these issues, but yes, there are always a few people who are a little more vulnerable, so let me share, if I may, some of my own tactics for avoiding fraudsters:

1. I dont keep any financial records on my main computer - but on a separate memory stick or disc drive. I only plug it in when I need to use it and I pull it out again when I am finished. So if there was ever an attack by ransome-wear my financial records would not be affected.

2. Whenever I give my address in a purchase or application I make up a name for the house which begins with the same letter as the business (so if I was setting up an account with EON I might call the house "Excalibur House") It makes no difference to the postman - but it tells me who has sent me junk mail.

3. I use my mobile phone for all social contacts and the house phone on my desk for all official business. (This makes sense as I dont want to be discussing business on my mobile at a family picnic.) That means that if anything to do with money comes through on the mobile I know it's dodgy, and if it comes through on the landline I am siting at my desk in a good frame of mind to deal with it carefully.

4. I always ask for the postal address of anyone who calls me - before we talk. This usually leads to them putting the phone down.

5. Most important, in my opinion, I have three separate bank accounts - at completely different banks. One is for income and regular bills. One is exclusively for my share dealing and the third one is used for what we might call pocket money - shopping on line or paying over the counter, Thus if any dodgy trader was to clone my card or bill my account they would only have access to the few hundred pounds which goes in there each month.

These things may seem time consuming or trivial to some of you, but actually you soon get used to the system. It's just a matter of making it difficult for the crooks. Of course they don't know I am doing these things so they can't plan for them.

7 users thanked Bruce J. for this post.
colin overton on 02/01/2018(UTC), Luca Brasi on 02/01/2018(UTC), Alan Selwood on 02/01/2018(UTC), J Thomas on 02/01/2018(UTC), Micawber on 02/01/2018(UTC), Jim Thompson on 03/01/2018(UTC), Guest on 03/01/2018(UTC)
Tyrion Lannister
Posted: 03 January 2018 00:56:22(UTC)

Joined: 03/03/2017(UTC)
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My Dad, long since retired, has plenty of time on his hands but is wise to scum trying it on.

He recently had a call from a company trying to get him to download software on his computer.

The caller asked him if he had a laptop to which my. Dad replied yes but it didn’t work. The scammer said, no problem, I can fix that and asked him to switch it on. My Dad said he had to go fetch it, made himself a cup of tea and went back to the phone sometime later, the scammer was still on the line.

“OK, do you have your laptop now?” To which the reply was yes.

“Right, could you turn it on?”

“Now what can you see on the screen?”


“Are you sure you turned it on”

“Yes, we’ll I tried”

“What did you do?”

“I pressed the on button”

Etc etc etc

Then, “are you sure you pressed the button I told you to?”

“Yes, but I told you before the computer is broken, you told me you could fix it”

Caller hangs up!
2 users thanked Tyrion Lannister for this post.
Tim D on 03/01/2018(UTC), Alan Selwood on 03/01/2018(UTC)
Tim D
Posted: 03 January 2018 10:41:29(UTC)

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Good stuff. I always try and waste scammer callers' time; my theory is their business model becomes untenable if they can't quickly filter out the wise to find the genuinely credulous marks. Think of it as doing an anonymous favour to the folks they won't get around to calling that day because you tied them up. It doesn't take much... instead of putting the phone down on them, just a "hang on a minute... you need to talk to so-and-so about computer stuff... I'll go and get him" will tie them up for a bit with minimal effort. I've occasionally had more fun with them... most satisfying result being one screaming expletives down the phone when I admitted I'd just been messing with him after 15 minutes of me occasionally making... "hang on a bit... it's still rebooting... it's almost back" comments down the phone.
Posted: 03 January 2018 11:11:54(UTC)

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" Of course they don't know I am doing these things so they can't plan for them."

They do now!

Tim D
Posted: 03 January 2018 14:35:00(UTC)

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jeffian;54884 wrote:
" Of course they don't know I am doing these things so they can't plan for them."

They do now!

Well the frequency of such calls does seem to have dropped off so it's possible I've made it onto some "don't waste your time with these numbers" blacklists, which would be a unexpected but welcome bonus if that's what's happened. I have an unfortunate relative who can attest that they do come back for repeated attempts at numbers where they've been previously successful.
David 111
Posted: 03 January 2018 15:32:31(UTC)

Joined: 09/07/2010(UTC)
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Tim - yes that has been my experience also regarding the number of scam callers falling away. Perhaps they are just on their Christmas hols.
J Thomas
Posted: 03 January 2018 22:59:39(UTC)

Joined: 22/02/2012(UTC)
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As the original poster on this scam; I thought forum members may be interested in the reply I received from my MP and HMRC.
My MP was very helpful, and wrote directly to the Chief Executive of HMRC who subsequently directed the matter to the head of digital security at that organisation. The reply was posted out both to my MP and myself. Part of the reply was as follows:
' The security of taxpayers money is of paramount importance to Her Majesties Revenue and Customs. We are aware of this fraudulent scam and are working with other relevant agencies to stop it and other various methods of criminal activity directed against our customers.... HMRC official policy is not to formally communicate by telephone, official correspondence is always addressed to the taxpayer by letter or through their agents....Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, etc.
All well and good; however I do feel more could be done to advertise these scams on the HMRC official sites, and perhaps warnings issued with tax returns to beware falling victim to these fraudsters, who care not their evil actions can lead to financial ruin and even suicide.

The Colonel
Posted: 06 January 2018 10:38:24(UTC)

Joined: 19/09/2009(UTC)
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Buy a 1st World war Officers Whistle from the British Legion. When you get a Scam Call
tell them its a bad line and ask them to hold their phone closer to their ear. Then a Deep Breath and a long whistle the phone amplifies the Whistle and they will not be able to hear anything for up to 10 Minutes. Your number will be put on a Blacklist and you won't hear from that company again.
Alternatively " A Terrorist incident has taken place in this house Chief Inspector Smith of the Special Branch is standing next to me and as all calls are being monitored your Company will be raided within the next 10Minutes and all records will be removed.
andy mac
Posted: 06 January 2018 20:17:19(UTC)

Joined: 12/02/2016(UTC)
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ask how they got your number as it is a safe house used by the security services and as they have been on the phone long enough they will be able to watch as the loaded drone will be hovering outside the building in a few moments
Alan Selwood
Posted: 06 January 2018 23:51:49(UTC)

Joined: 17/12/2011(UTC)
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Tell them they need to activate video for the call, and also 'share location', so that they can properly see your mafia sunglasses, be recorded by your camera and the images sent to your local hitman in their area........!
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