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Cheshire police warning over phone scammers

Multiple reports of hoax calls by fraudsters claiming to be from Government organisations
Photo credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Police are warning residents to remain vigilant following multiple reports of hoax calls by scammers claiming to be from Government organisations.

Over the past 24 hours officers have received eight reports from residents in the Northwich area who have received calls from men purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the courts.

On each occasion the victim was told they were being investigated for an outstanding balance and if they didn’t settle within two hours they would be arrested.

Those targeted were instructed to visit a high street supermarket or electronics store to purchase iTunes vouchers and to then call back the scammer with the serial numbers to clear their debt.

Chief inspector Simon Meegan pounds the streets of Tarporley with police and crime commissioner David Keane.

Chief inspector Simon Meegan said: “In each of these cases the victims have been told that they must purchase hundreds of pounds worth of vouchers or face the prospect of being arrested; which has caused anxiety and concern for all of the victims.

“Thankfully in all three cases the victims did not fall for the scam and no money changed hands. However, having been made aware of these incidents we are working closely with local supermarkets and electronics stores to help prevent vulnerable residents from purchasing large quantities of vouchers.

“I would also like to remind local residents that HMRC and the courts would never call you and ask you to settle a balance over the phone using vouchers. I advise anyone who believes that they may have been a victim to call us on 101.”

Anybody who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or has been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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