Police warning about bogus HMRC callers

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Fraudsters are trying to scam people in Northamptonshire by pretending to be phoning from HMRC.

Police are warning people about the scam phonecalls after a number were made to local people this week.

Concerned householders have contacted Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards to report having had a suspicious phone call or message from someone claiming to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), telling them they have an outstanding tax bill.

The callers state that the recipient must not ignore the phone call and should call back, threatening legal action or police involvement if they don’t. The fraudsters then claim the recipient owes money for unpaid taxes, sometimes saying they will visit the resident’s home, arrest them or take other items in payment.

A police spokesperson said: “These calls are bogus and we are urging people to be aware and to hang up on any suspicious callers.

“Fraudsters will use various hoaxes to try and scam money out of people so please be vigilant about any unsolicited phone call – remember that the bank or police or HMRC would never ask you for your PIN over the phone or send a courier to collect cards or cash.

“Don’t engage in conversation or phone back, and never give out any personal information, bank or card details, or hand over money in any form.

“If you get a call like this, hang up immediately and either use an alternative phone to call the police or ask a neighbour or relative for help.”

HMRC provides useful advice about phishing emails and bogus contact and genuine HMRC contact and recognising phishing emails on their website. They also advise that if any details are inadvertently disclosed, HMRC should be contacted immediately at security.custcon@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

More advice and details about how to report suspected scam calls can be found on the Action Fraud website.