Scammers scare woman into parting with £8,000 and copies of passport
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Fraudsters frightened a Suffolk woman into parting with every penny in her possession – as well as a copies of her passport – before trying to threaten her into parting with more.
Suffolk Trading Standards shared the woman’s account in an effort to warn others about the scare tactics used by criminals to extort money from victims.
The woman, who has not been named but lives in Bury St Edmunds, paid out almost £8,000 and sent a copy of her passport to scammers claiming to be tax collectors from HM Revenue and Customs.
Even when the victim insisted she had nothing left to transfer from her bank account, the scammers continued making threats and demanding another £4,000.
The woman said: “I received a phone call claiming they were from HMRC and that I owe a tax of £1,974.
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“I was threatened that I have a warrant of arrest, and I was so afraid as I was alone in the house and there is no one I can talk to, so I paid it through bank transfer.
“After that, they sent documents to my WhatsApp and email showing I have to pay another £4,000 to drop the allegations against me, and it will be refunded to me.
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“I wasn’t thinking clearly. I believed it was true as they pressured me, so I paid them.
“They then asked me for another £1,997 for document charges so I did pay them, but afterwards, they sent another document with the supreme court logo saying that was for judicial judge payments, amounting to £4,000.
“Then I realised this might be scam as they are asking for more, but when I said that I don’t have anymore money to pay, they told me the police will be here in my house within one hour.
“I hung up as I don’t have any more money to pay.”
The victim was able to recover all the money via her bank. However, she had sent the criminals copies of her passport, as well as a recent photo, and now fears she will be a victim of identity theft.
Suffolk Trading Standards said: “If you receive a similar phone call, hang up.
“Do not give any personal details. If you think your financial information has been compromised, contact your bank immediately.
“Report all scams to us via 0808 223 1133.”