Phone scams reported to HMRC fall in Wales
Phone scam reports have fallen by 81 pent cent in Wales over the last year, new regional data from
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed.
In Wales, 216 phone scams were reported to HMRC in June this year compared to 1125 in June
People aged between 25 and 34 appear to be most affected by scams in the region, with 56
reporting phone scams in Wales in June.
HMRC has made significant efforts to tackle the problem and protect the public. Scam call reports
from across all regions peaked in March 2021 with almost 76,000 reports. This was slashed to just
over 5,000 in March this year.
To fight phone scams, HMRC has worked with the telecoms industry and Ofcom to stop HMRC’s
helpline numbers from being spoofed by fraudsters, who can no longer appear to be calling from an
HMRC number. HMRC also has a dedicated customer protection team working on cyber and phone
phishing scams around the clock.
The drop in reported phone scams is a testament to the work of teams across HMRC in tackling
fraud. HMRC’s phishing referral tools and innovative technology all play a part in the department’s
efforts to combat fraud, which has resulted in fewer people falling victim to and reporting tax
Kelly Paterson, HMRC’s Chief Information and Security Officer, said:
“We work tirelessly to tackle scams and protect hard-working taxpayers from becoming victims of
“Never let yourself be rushed. If someone contacts you saying that they are from HMRC, wanting
you to urgently transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard. HMRC will never ring
out of the blue threatening arrest.
“To help us fight these crimes, forward suspicious texts claiming to be from HMRC to 60599 and
emails to email@example.com. Report tax scam phone calls to us on GOV.UK.”
HMRC received over 212,500 reports in total of all kinds of scams, by email, text message and
phone, over the past year, nationally.
Phone scammers often call people threatening immediate arrest for fictitious tax owed. Sometimes
they claim that the victim’s National Insurance number has been used in fraud or offers a fake tax
rebate as a way of stealing personal and banking information.
In addition to warning the public about phishing scams, HMRC urges people never to share their
HMRC login details. Criminals using the logins could steal from the customer or make a fraudulent
claim in their name.
1. HMRC’s phishing scam advice is:
take a moment to think before parting with your money or information
if a phone call, text or email is unexpected, don’t give out private information or reply,
and don’t download attachments or click on links before checking on GOV.UK that the
contact is genuine
do not trust caller ID on phones. Numbers can be spoofed
it’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests – only criminals will try to rush or panic you
search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise
genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams
forward suspicious texts claiming to be from HMRC to 60599 and emails
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report tax scam phone calls on GOV.UK
contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to
Action Fraud (in Scotland, contact the police on 101)
2. Nationally, in the last year (July 21 – June 22) HMRC has:
· responded to 212,516 referrals of suspicious contact from the public. Some 102,873 of
these offered bogus tax rebates
· worked with the telecoms industry and Ofcom to remove 67 phone numbers being used
to commit HMRC-related phone scams
· responded to 57,386 reports of phone scams in total, 88% down on the previous year. In
April 2020 we received reports of only 425 phone scams. In June 2022 this had risen to
· reported 5,974 malicious web pages for takedown
· detected 463 Covid-related financial scams since March 2020, most by text message
· asked Internet Service Providers to take down 443 Covid-related scam web pages.
3. The numbers in this release refer only to phone scam reports to HMRC using a GOV.UK form
introduced in 2020 and do not reflect all of the phone phishing reports that the department has
received through email and other channels.