It’s a scam! It’s an easy thing to warn people against but a bit harder to avoid in real life.
We were contacted by our friends at Crew Family Office the other day with a warning to all Superyacht crew. “There are lots of Scams around at the moment, please warn crew to beware”
What is a Scam?
A scam is simply a way of someone (let’s call the the scum of the earth) tries to trick you into giving them money. This is usually done by them pretending to be someone else.
Examples of a scam
Most of you do not spend much time at home these days. So, you may not have come across a lot of these. Here are some examples;
- Your bank calls you and asks you to confirm your security details. Home address and date of birth. This is NOT the bank. It is simply someone trying to get enough info to log in to your telephone banking and steal your money.
- BT call to tell you your broadband has been hacked. This is one that works well on older people. Again, they are after your personal details.
- HMRC call to tell you there is a warrant out for your arrest. This catches a lot of people out. We have spoken to HMRC and they will never call you unless you have arranged to talk to them or are in correspondence with them. NEVER give HMRC your personal or payment details over the phone.
So, what do I do?
Be wary of a scam. If you get a text, call or email from a company claiming your account needs to be verified it could be a scam. Be very careful of any links in emails etc as these will take you to bogus sites.
If in doubt, call the company direct. Talk to someone who you know works for the company and ask them if they have recently tried to contact you. It’s a bit time consuming but could be the difference between reality and a scam.
It happens a lot so be wary of everyone!
Lots of Superyacht crew have recently fallen victim to the HMRC scam. So, before you panic and pay the money you are told you owe, Think about this;
- Think carefully. Have you done your tax return for the year? Did you owe any money (this is unlikely)? If so, did you pay it?
- HMRC will NEVER contact you by phone or text.
- Log in to your online account and check it.
- Or, call the company that does your tax return. They can double check your situation easily.
- NEVER give anyone who calls you, your personal details or credit card details over the phone.
- If they cannot confirm some details about you (your name, date of birth, home address) then just hang up. It’s a scam.
- Here are some examples of the most common HMRC scams
Remember, it is better to check first than to lose £1000’s and regret it!