Don’t fall vic­tim to phone scam­mers

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life - BY CHANTELLE HEEDS chantelle.heeds@reach­plc.com @chantelle­heeds

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 phish­ing@hmrc.gsi. gov.uk or to Ac­tion Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

If you sus­pect you are be­ing called by a scam­mer, don’t pass on any in­for­ma­tion and hang up im­me­di­ately

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