Suffolk Constabulary has been made aware that a number of residents have recently been contacted on the telephone by a caller claiming to be from HMRC (the tax office) stating that the person owed money in unpaid tax. Threats of arrest were then made if the outstanding amount was not paid.
One victim was instructed to purchase iTunes vouchers and then telephone the fraudster back and give them the voucher serial numbers. Early indications are that an elderly woman has lost £1,500 to this scam.
HMRC will never make phone calls or use text messages or email to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty and will never ask for payment in this way.
In addition, Suffolk Constabulary would urge that all local businesses brief their staff about this scam and ask that any member of the public who requests to purchase large amounts of iTunes or similar vouchers are offered support and the police contacted if there are concerns.
For advice on keeping yourself safe against scams, please visit: https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z.
For more information on this type of crime do visit:http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/alert-fraudsters-claiming-to-be-from-hmrc-jun17
Alternatively, report incidents of fraud to Action Fraud using their online reporting tool http://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 1232040.
You can also sign up to the Trading Standards weekly email alert on rogues and scams targeting Suffolk at www.suffolk.gov.uk/JoinTheFight