Police warning over hoax tax office calls
POLICE are warning residents to be vigilant after Macclesfield residents were targeted by hoax calls from people claiming to be from the tax office.
There were 10 reports of scammers purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Tuesday, October 25.
The first part of the call is automated and the victim is asked to press one to speak to an advisor. The victim is then informed they are being investigated by HMRC and that someone is on their way to arrest them.
One of the victims was told to purchase £500 worth of iTunes vouchers and that someone would be around to collect the vouchers which would settle an outstanding debt.
Det Insp Claire Jesson said: “None of the victims fell for the scam, but being told they were about to be arrested must have given them a shock. This is one of a variety of methods fraudsters are using while claiming to be from HMRC. Fraudsters are contacting victims via voicemails, spoofed calls and text messaging.
“If you are contacted via these methods, please be aware that HMRC would never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty, or ever ask for payment via iTunes.
“Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephone display.
“If you receive a suspicious call end it immediately.”
Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.