Scammers claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are targeting people in North Lincolnshire – attempting to trick them into paying bogus debts and taxes.
On Monday, January 8, police received seven reports of the bogus phone calls from residents in Brigg, Messingham and Scunthorpe.
The fraudsters claimed that there was a warrant for the arrest of the victim and that they would be arrested if they did not pay.
Some asked for bank details, while others told their victims to go and buy iTunes vouchers that an ‘officer’ would come and collect.
Two of those targeted went as far as going to local supermarkets to buy the vouchers but were stopped by members of staff who told them it was a scam and urged them to call police.
Detective Inspector Kev Foster at Humberside Police said: “It’s great to see that supermarket staff are aware of this scam and are actively stepping in to stop vulnerable people from being taken in, so we would like to say thank you to them.
“A genuine representative of HMRC would never call and ask for your bank details or for payment in iTunes vouchers.
“Be wary of any caller who asks you to give personal or financial details over the phone – wherever they claim to be from.
“If you believe it may be a genuine call from your bank, a retailer where you have an account or a government body, hang up and call them back later – and look up the contact details yourself rather than using a number the caller has given you.
“If they’re genuine they won’t have a problem with this and you could save yourself from handing over your hard earned cash to a scammer.”
If you have received a call that you are suspicious about and feel may not be genuine, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.