How to Avoid the HMRC Voicemail Scam

Unfortunately, phishing from people pretending to be HMRC is common. It comes in a variety of forms including letters and emails, and the latest scam is via voicemail. Thankfully, these fraudsters have been reported so that…

5 Minute Read

Last Updated: 30th November 2023

Unfortunately, phishing from people pretending to be HMRC is common. It comes in a variety of forms including letters and emails, and the latest scam is via voicemail.

Thankfully, these fraudsters have been reported so that you can become aware of it before you receive a suspicious call, and take action if necessary.

Awareness of the scam

There are two recordings that have been released to increase awareness of the scam. In the first, an automated male voice claims there is a warrant for your arrest, and that there is a legal case about to be filed on you. Now you’ve been alerted to this, they go on to say that you need to call HMRC on the number they have provided, before warning that you must not ignore them.

The second caller is a female, purporting to be ‘Officer Sarah Wilson’ from HMRC. She requests that you or your solicitor call her back, and threatens that there will be legal consequences if you don’t.

Responding to the scam

If you receive a suspicious voicemail like these, then it’s important to remain calm. The claims of ‘you need to act quickly’ and ‘there will be serious consequences’ are very common amongst phishing scams. They are designed to make many people feel extremely pressured, causing them to act as they would not normally.

Instead, see if you can validate who the caller actually is from the caller ID, but don’t call them back. Cross-reference their number (if available) with the number of HMRC. Just search on their official website, or see if you have any trusted correspondence from them, like a verified letter.

You should then give the official HMRC number a ring from another phone, explaining what’s happened. You’ll be able to find out whether it was a scam without falling victim to it.

Recognising the scam

Although becoming aware of this scam will stop it from impacting you, there could potentially be other fraudsters trying to access your information in the future. You can take steps to avoid this by ensuring you can recognise a scam.

The pressure put on you is one such sign. As we discussed with the fake HMRC letters, the official HMRC will seldom ever request you to pay at that moment in time.

Also, with any calls related to tax credits, HMRC will not reveal any of your details in a voicemail message. If you speak on the phone, be wary of the caller asking for your details as well – never disclose your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) or National Insurance number.

Be mindful, too, of when in the tax year you receive the communication. The most popular time for fraudsters to attempt scams is around important dates, such as the Self Assessment tax return deadline.

About GoSimpleTax

GoSimpleTax is designed to make it easy to complete your Self Assessment, even if you’re not an expert. Created by GoSimple Software in tandem with HMRC, this cloud tax return software streamlines the Self Assessment process and provides the forms needed to declare your earnings, with helpful tips along the way. See the software in action by taking a free 14-day trial.

Trusted by over 20,000 subscribers

You don't need to be an expert to complete your self assessment tax return.

Find Out More

Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.

5 Excellent Reasons to Choose Us

Discover how to make tax returns a doddle...

Find out more

Top ten vehicle-related expenses sole traders can claim

05 Jun 2024

Many sole traders couldn’t run their business without having a vehicle. Tradespeople couldn’t travel to customers’ homes or premises, many businesses couldn’t pick up…

Non-domicile tax rules: what will change from April 2025?

02 May 2024

In March 2024, Jeremy Hunt announced in his spring budget speech that the government would scrap the UK’s current non-dom tax regime and replace…

What if HMRC contacted you about income you’ve earned from selling online?

02 May 2024

If you’re not doing it, you probably know someone who is. Selling stuff via Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Vinted and other online marketplaces has…

How GoSimpleTax Works


Simply register for free with your full name and email address.

Select Your Income

Select the income you receive and follow the hints and tips for potential tax savings.

Validate Your Information

Validate your personal information and submit directly to HMRC to get confirmation in just seconds.


Work Anywhere, With Any Device

Gone are the days of fretting over a calculator surrounded by scraps of paper at the eleventh hour.

GoSimpleTax’s tax return software uses the information you upload in real time to calculate your income and expenditure, working out the tax you owe and sending you helpful notifications when there’s the possibility of a mistake.

Start your free trial

"The software is intuitive and proved very easy to navigate. I found the whole process refreshingly simple. I saved a lot of money too!"

Steve J.

Ordained Presbyter

"Easy to use and value for money. Everything you need to do your tax."

Gordon J.

Self Employed

"It fills in all the forms and sends them to the Inland Revenue. Not expensive either. Takes the stress out of doing your tax return online."

Ross G.

Team Rector

5 reasons to use GoSimpleTax >