Older Suffolk people are being threatened with arrest by fake tax officers’ telephone scam

The scammers are calling people pretending to be from HMRC. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

The scammers are calling people pretending to be from HMRC. Picture: GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fraudsters pretending to be from the tax office are calling older Suffolk residents and threatening to arrest them for outstanding debts.

Suffolk police are warning people to look out for telephone scams following reports of callers claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs this week.

The victims, typically older people, have been intimated with threats of being locked up for not paying their taxed.

A police spokesman said: “Suffolk Constabulary would like to thank those who have reported the incidents.”

An HMRC spokesperson added: “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.

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“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.”

Action Fraud said the fraudsters were tricking people into paying bogus debts and taxes using iTunes gift cards.

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An 87-year-old victim recently told the BBC he was phoned by fraudsters who claimed there was an arrest warrant out in his name, which would be cancelled if he bought £500 in iTunes gift cards at Tesco.

Fraudsters are reported to like iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and sold on.

Suffolk Constabulary has directed people to the following sites for advice on protecting themselves from scams.

Crime PreventionHMRC fraudstersAction FraudTrading Standards weekly alert

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