Woman’s warning after being threatened with police action during HMRC scam call
PUBLISHED: 06:30 22 February 2020
Threats of police knocking on her door left a 61-year-old woman “scared and frightened” during a scam phone call which lasted more than an hour.
Judith Brown was targeted by scammers pretending to be investigating problems with her National Insurance payments.
After questioning the caller on her own personal details, Mrs Brown says the man "turned" and said a warrant would be issued for her arrest.
She said: "I was scared and I am not someone who is frightened easily. He rang up saying it was about the payments between 1995 and 2005 that hadn't been made by my company.
"I asked for his name and he gave me the number of the warrant he was about to issue for my arrest. I told him I was working for government companies and they are not going to defraud themselves."
The caller then read out a statement about the missing payments, which supposedly totalled £3,329.27.
Mrs Brown, who lives in Lowestoft, said: "Some of it was sounding right, and in the back of my mind I knew it was a scam, but it had me thinking.
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"He said they had sent paperwork to my address, but I have recently moved so I asked which address it had been sent to, which he wouldn't tell me.
"I told him it was all a load of rubbish and put the phone down, but he rang back and told me I was being obstructive.
"He turned and was quite abusive, saying I was a criminal and that he'd send the warrant and have police on my doorstep within an hour, but he couldn't tell me where I lived."
After the caller hung up, Mrs Brown walked to the nearby job centre, who confirmed a number of scam calls had been made.
HMRC have warned residents not to give out private information and not to respond to messages they weren't expecting.
An HMRC spokesperson said: "HMRC takes security extremely seriously. We are aware that some people have received telephone calls from individuals claiming to be from HMRC.
"We have a well-known brand, which criminals abuse to add credibility to their scams.
"These scams often involve people receiving a call out of the blue and being told that HMRC is investigating them.
"If you can't verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them."