HMRC is calling - Fake or trustworthy?

Richard Grant
Richard Grant - Expert in Telecommunications and User Protection
Richard is responsible for tellows' Consumer Protection department and is responsible for investigating all matters relating to telephone fraud, with a particular focus on developments in the telecommunications sector. Last updated: Oct 17, 2023

HMRC Phone Scams - How to tell whether the call is legitimate or a scam?

The HM Revenue & Customs authority is a non-ministerial department responsible for the taxes, payments and customs within the United Kingdom. With their service, we can be sure that the taxes are collected appropriately, minimum wages are administrated and that the tax money goes to where it is needed most. The tax system is not always easy to understand and can cause a lot of trouble for those not paying their fair share or trying to cheat the system. The HMRC was formed in 2005.

Categorizing HMRC Calls

  1. Official HMRC Numbers with positive feedback.
  2. How does the scam work? Imposters, text scams, and phishing?
  3. Mobile Providers associated with scam tactics.
tellows HMRC Chart
tellows Insights: Distribution of phone numbers assigned to HMRC*

Phone numbers from HMRC on tellows that were rated positively

tellows users submitted to 5 different phone numbers a total of 31 ratings.
PhoneNumber Ratings Caller Example Score
01749608007 3 Government Gateway This is the Government Gateway number that rings to confirm your identity when logging into the HMRC 3
07404008427 1 unknown I answered the call, then an automatic voice, similar with the Google translate voice, started to te 6
07752 1 HMRC 4
07448604424 2 said were hmrc automated voice from fake hmrc asking to press no.1 on the keypad 5
07953222222 24 EE (telephone company) Continuously getting automated voicenails from S/A Tax Returns Stating I owe money" , I've never bee 6

How does the scam work?

HMRC Imposter Calls

Automated phone calls claiming to be from HMRC have been reported for years. The HMRC is aware and warns about those calls. The recorded voice is talking about a lawsuit that was filed against the person called and asks to press 1 to speak to an agent and make a payment. Older people are often the target of these scams and tend to fall for it more often. The caller is trying to scare the person and pressuring them for a payment. Victims of this scam should report to Action Fraud.

Text Scams

Since the pandemic, text scams offering refunds have become popular with scammers. But also tax refunds are offered via SMS asking for further personal details. The scammers include a link in their message that does not lead to an official website. Check the URL carefully and remember that the HMRC has your data already and should not ask for obvious information.

Email Phishing

Spam emails are often detected by mail programs, but those that aren't can become a huge problem once someone opens links or attachments. There are emails claiming to be from HMRC customer services offering credits or tax refunds. They are asking for personal details and either lead you to a website to enter your data or ask for a reply. Do not interact with the mail or send your information to anyone. The HMRC offers an online form and email service to report suspicious phone calls, sms or phishing mails.

Phone numbers from HMRC on tellows that were rated negatively

tellows users submitted to 66 different phone numbers a total of 104 ratings.
PhoneNumber Ratings Caller Example Score
01615328165 3 HMRC - Tax Revenue Claims to be HMRC saying i have a refund, then isnfrom a ppi companyband they need some details! Sme 8
01617381789 3 HMRC - Tax Scam scam scam scam scam scam scam scam no message left 8
01615243650 3 HMRC - Tax Call Centre Scam Sounded like a big call center wasn't a professional operation, just chaos. 7
01618180688 3 HMRC Tax rebate (spoofed) The caller informed me I had at least £800 owing to me from a PPI claim that was going to be paid by 7
07477128728 2 Scammer Pretending to be from HMRC 9
07404 10 Prefix Told me the HMRC was coming for me because of money owed for tax total bs 8
07773500831 1 HMRC Scam call from HMRC pre recorded message. 8
07759031671 1 HMRC fraud 8
01829692017 1 unknown Robo-caller with American voice claiming HMRC was going to prosecute me, and to press '1' to speak t 8
07412 10 Prefix Hmrc scam do not call bk. block and delete 8
447847738472 1 unknown AI voice robot pretending to be from HMRC 7
07718766363 1 unknown They say they are HMRC who have issued an arrest on me. Want me to call them ? 8
+447471212474 1 unknown HMRC Fraud 8
07170963085 1 unknown Recording claiming from HMRC and I needed to pay my tax etc. 7
07406506175 1 unknown Automated message on 23/02/2023 to my mobile saying they were HMRC and threatened me with prison ove 7

How to deal with scam calls from HMRC?

  • HMRC makes phone calls and uses automated messages but is unlikely to contact you without prior knowledge of a reference number or ask for sensitive information on the phone.
  • Watch out for spoofed numbers! You should never trust the displayed number on your telephone, even if it belongs to an official HMRC service.
  • End a suspicious call immediately, if you have a bad feeling or the caller cannot give you any info about his call reasons. Look for the official contact possibilities on their website to reach out to the customer support.
  • HMRC does not ask you to update or submit your personal details via email, text or on a website form.
  • Do not enter your personal account information on other websites.
  • If you already fell for a scam and suffered from financial loss, please report your case to Action Fraud and HMRC.
  • Do not call back a number from a missed call. Rather, reach out to the official HMRC customer support if you are not sure whether something is wrong.
  • If you receive a call from a dubious number, hang up immediately and block the caller.

How can tellows help you with unknown calls?

  • You can look for an unknown number on to evaluate the caller and the reason for the call.
  • tellows offers apps for iOS and Android to identify unknown calls as soon as the phone rings. This way, you can accept a call with no doubt. Phone numbers with fraudulent intentions change very quickly. Phone numbers classified as Amazon scams or fake Amazon employees can only be detected and blocked in real time via the app.

tellows Insights for Journalists

This comprehensive research was conducted by tellows Insights. In this process, the experts blend exclusive tellows data with their in-depth knowledge and research. tellows assesses thousands of ratings daily, generating statistics and data clusters about relevant numbers and emerging scam patterns. This approach allows for a sharp focus on currently active callers and swift identification of new suspicious phone numbers. The tellows Insights team relies on the unique tellows database, enabling the creation of thorough studies. You can contact the team for inquiries. All graphics and data can be used for editorial purposes with proper source credit. The last data update was on Oct 17, 2023. The phone numbers under scrutiny were rated using the tellows score, which ranges from 1 (trustworthy) to 9 (dubious) and indicates the level of risk associated with a phone number. Higher scores represent more dubious callers. This report specifically covers numbers categorized as HMRC, considering the count of reported phone numbers assigned to this label by tellows users.

*User interest for numbers assigned to HMRC

tellows Insights Report