Warn­ing over £1,000 tax scam

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

APENSIONER has warned oth­ers about a phone scam af­ter be­ing tar­geted by con­men.

Jack Spencer, 93, re­ceived two calls in two days from some­one claim­ing to be from HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms (HMRC).

The caller told the for­mer war pilot that he owed more than £1,000 and if he didn’t pay within an hour he would be ar­rested.

When Jack chal­lenged the con­man he hung up.

Ter­ri­fied of be­ing hauled to court, Jack, from Mac­cles­field, called his so­lic­i­tor for ad­vice and was told it was a hoax.

Jack has now re­ported the in­ci­dent to po­lice and is urg­ing oth­ers to be vig­i­lant.

He said: “It’s out­ra­geous that peo­ple are tar­get­ing the el­derly like that.

“It’s lucky that I have my wits about me and chal­lenged the caller.

“That first call put the fear of God in me. Even af­ter the sec­ond call when I grew sus­pi­cious, I was still scared by what he was say­ing be­cause it sounded so au­then­tic.

“Oth­ers might not have been as brave and could have found them­selves hand­ing over money to these crooks.

“My so­lic­i­tor told me that an­other of their clients, who is dis­abled, had re­ported some­one com­ing to their door in a sim­i­lar scam.

“That con­cerned me enough to share what hap­pened to me and warn oth­ers.”

The first call to Jack was on Tues­day, March 7, where the caller left a mes­sage. The sec­ond at 12pm on Thurs­day, March 9, was a di­rect call.

Web­sites set up to ex­pose scam calls con­tain nu­mer­ous re­ports from peo­ple who say they have re­ceived calls and mes­sages from the peo­ple us­ing the Lon­don-based num­ber that called Jack.

Cheshire Po­lice are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing Jack’s com­plaint and urged res­i­dents not to dis­close per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

A spokesman said: “Cheshire Po­lice re­ceived a call from a res­i­dent in the Mac­cles­field area who had re­ceived a sus­pi­cious phone call.

“The in­ci­dent is cur­rently be­ing in­ves­ti­gated. Cheshire Con­stab­u­lary al­ways ad­vise that if you can­not ver­ify the iden­tity of the per­son mak­ing the call you should not dis­close your per­sonal de­tails.

Any­one who be­lieves that they have re­ceived a sus­pi­cious call should phone Cheshire Po­lice on 101 or con­tact Ac­tion Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

You can also find fur­ther ad­vice on­line at http://www.ac­tion­fraud. po­lice.uk.

Jack Spencer is warn­ing res­i­dents af­ter re­ceiv­ing two phone calls say­ing he owed un­paid tax

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