Police issue fraud warning
Sussex Police are warning elderly and vulnerable people to be aware of phone-calls from fraudsters claiming to be from HM Customs and Revenue (HMC) or the police.
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HMRC received more than 60,000 reports of phone scams in the six months up to January 2019, an increase of 360 percent on the preceding six months.
The callers “claim the targeted person is wanted for tax evasion and is arrestable on warrant unless they pay a cash sum – usually some £3,000 to £4,000 – to clear their ‘debt’.”
Some callers even address the victims by their name, or use a number that is displayed as the official number for the agency that they claim to be calling from, which adds credibility to their calls.
The genuine authorities want to stress that the public would never be contacted by them out of the blue with requests for payments. They state that they would never ask people to disclose personal information, such as pin numbers, passwords or bank details over the phone in this way.
Sergeant Kat Argholeka, of Sussex Police, has said:
“This underlines the importance of never giving out private information and reporting any suspicious activity without delay.
“We’d also ask friends or relatives of potentially vulnerable people to ensure they are fully aware and alert to the risks.”
Anyone receiving such contact should hang up and report the call – preferably using a separate phone or computer in case the criminals have kept the line open – to police here, at 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
For further advice, please see here.
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