Fake customs officer demanded £4,000 from Ipswich man - but scam was foiled by suspicious wife

Suffolk police are warning people to be wary of phone scams. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Suffolk police are warning people to be wary of phone scams. Picture: GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A fake customs officer pretending to be investigating tax fraud demanded £4,000 from a Suffolk man – but was foiled when his wife became suspicious.

The scammer called a man in the Ipswich area on Wednesday, claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs.

He told him that as he had failed to respond to letters, court proceedings would begin unless he made an immediate cash payment of more than £4,000, which would be collected “by an agent”.

The victim went to withdraw the money from his bank. However, his wife became suspicious, contacted the police and officers attended the bank and the victim’s home to make sure no cash was handed over.

Suffolk police said HMRC would never make phone calls, use text messages or email to tell people about a tax rebate or penalty and will never ask for a cash payment in this way.

• Visit Suffolk police’s crime prevention page for advice on avoiding scams.

• Visit Action Fraud for information on this type of crime

• Visit Action Fraud’s online reporting tool or call 0300 1232040 to report incidents.

• Visit Trading Standards to sign up to a weekly alert on rogues and scams targeting Suffolk.

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