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Public urged to be aware of telephone scammers posing as the tax man

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:25 19 March 2018

Suffolk police are warning the public to be wary of telephone scams. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

Suffolk police are warning the public to be wary of telephone scams. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

Archant

Police have warned residents to stay alert following reports of telephone calls from a scammer claiming to be from the tax office.

Fraudsters have been contacting the elderly, intimidating their victims with threats of arrest for alleged outstanding debts or unpaid taxes, claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “Phone scams are widely reported, and generally attempt to target elderly and vulnerable people. They 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.

“HMRC will call people about outstanding tax bills, and sometimes use automated messages, however it would include your taxpayer reference number. If you are uncertain of the caller, hang up and call HMRC directly to check – you can confirm our call centre numbers online if you are unsure. For tax credits, we do not include your details in any voicemail messages.”

Visit the crime prevention section of the Suffolk Police website for further advice on keeping yourself safe against the threat of scams.

Incidents of fraud can be reported to Action Fraud - the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre - using their online reporting tool or by calling 0300 1232040.

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