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New HMRC tech helps reduce fraud

New technology HMRC has developed alongside the telecommunications sector and Ofcom is already working to reduce the problem of phone fraud, according to a statement by the government.

The number of frauds that see criminals phone members of the public and pretend to be HMRC have risen at an alarming rate in the past year. Whereas 407 of these frauds were reported for 2016-17, by 2018-19 the number had soared to 104,774. Some tax experts cite the digital changes to the tax system as one reason for this, with sophisticated cyber-fraudsters exploiting flaws in the tech used by HMRC.

Now the department is fighting back against this, having launched brand new tech that it is claiming has already started to stymie fraudsters. HMRC began using this technology during April and since then, no telephone fraud cases have been reported.

Those criminals who use telephone numbers that start with the 0300 code can be blocked by HMRC using this new tech, while it also makes it easier for the tax department to identify fraudulent calls made from other numbers.

According to Public Finance, Jesse Norman, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“HMRC’s new controls will help protect thousands of hardworking taxpayers and their families from these heartless criminals. Vigilance will always be important but this is a significant blow to the phone cheats.”

Being able to get advice from a professional accountant in Birkenhead, or wherever they happen to be based, will also help individuals avoid falling victim to this sort of scam.

Posted by Peter
June 11, 2019

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