Taxpayers have received calls from an automated caller claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which threatened legal action if they don’t pay what they allegedly owe.
With the deadline for online tax returns approaching at the end of January several individuals have received these calls and are being asked to pay tax bills of £3,000 in some cases.
Comparitech, a comparison website of technological services, has published a recording of one of these calls, in which a female automated voice claims to be from the office of Dennis Grey from HMRC.
"The issue at hand is extremely time sensitive," the pre-recorded message says. "If you do not call us back or we do not hear from your solicitors either then get ready to face the legal consequences."
On its website the taxman said it was aware of an automated phone call scam which told individuals that HMRC was filing a lawsuit against them.
"We can confirm this is a scam and you should end the call immediately," HMRC stated.
Taxpayers who have been a victim of the scam and suffered financial loss should report it to Action Fraud, the taxman added.
To help HMRC’s investigations, taxpayers should report full details of the scam by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including the date of the call, the phone number used and the content of the call.
FTAdviser reported in June that HMRC had asked a record 20,750 websites to be taken down in the previous 12 months.
This represented a 29 per cent increase on the previous year as HMRC cracked down on online scammers, particularly those pretending to represent the taxman.
HMRC has been approached for comment.