Don’t fall victim to phone scammers
POLICE have issued a warning after several West Lancashire residents have been victims of a telephone scam.
Residents have reported being contacted by someone claming to be from the HMRC who insists that they owe money and that it needs to be rectified quickly before they send for the police.
Following these reports, Ormskirk Police have issued advice in an attempt to prevent others falling victim to the scam.
A spokesperson said: “We’ve recently received a number of complaints of fraudsters, who are working their way through the phone book claiming to be from HMRC.
“If you receive one of these calls, please do not pass any of your details and do hang up.”
If you are concerned that the call may be genuine, however, police advise you to hang up and call the HMRC directly to enquire.
The HMRC are also aware of the ongoing scams and have been made aware of people being contacted by the fraudsters on email, text message, telephone and social media.
The company has assured, however, that they would never send an email regarding tax rebates, refunds or personal or payment information.
And, although they may back send text messages on occasion, they would never send a text asking for personal or financial information.
The advice issued on their website states: “If you get a text message claiming to be from HMRC offering a ‘tax refund’ in exchange for personal or financial details, you shouldn’t reply.
“Don’t open any attachments or click on any links within the email or text message, as they may contain malicious software or direct you to a bogus website.”
Speaking of the telephone scams, they said: “HMRC is aware of an automated phone call scam which states that HMRC is filing a lawsuit against the recipient of the call and states they should ‘press one to speak to a caseworker in order to make an immediate payment’.
“We can confirm that this is a scam and you should end the call immediately. This scam has been widely reported, and appears to be targeting elderly and vulnerable people.
“If you’ve been a victim of the scam and suffered a financial loss, you can report it to Action Fraud.”
If you do receive a fraudulent call from someone claiming to be from the HMRC, you can report this to HMRC directly via 0800 788 887 or email@example.com. gov.uk or to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.