HMRC scam warning

HMRC is alerting people to a scam aimed particularly at older or vulnerable people.

The scammers prey on victims by cold calling them and impersonating an HMRC member of staff. They tell them that they owe large amounts of tax that they can only pay off through digital vouchers and gift cards, including those used for Apple’s iTunes store.

Victims are told to go buy the vouchers and then read out the redemption code to the
scammer, who has kept them on the phone. The conmen then sell on the codes or
purchase high-value products, all at the victim’s expense.

The scammers frequently use intimidation to get what they want, threatening to seize the victim’s property or involve the police. The use of vouchers is an attractive scam as they are easy to sell and hard to trace once used.

It goes without saying that HMRC would never request the settling of debt through such a

Most victims are aged over 65 and suffer an average financial loss of £1,150.

To report this or any other scam, phone Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.