People in Cheshire are being warned about aggressive phone scammers claiming to be from the tax office demanding sums of money.
CPR Call Blocker, makers of the best selling call blocking device in the UK, is urging people in Cheshire to hang up if someone claiming to be from the tax office calls or leaves a message claiming you must call back or risk facing legal action.
It follows reports of a similar con in Australia where scammers claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) were calling people and demanding sums of money be paid or risk facing a warrant for their arrest.
The scam that has been reported to CPR Call Blocker involves an automated message telling the recipient they owe tax and face legal action. They are then prompted to press a number to speak to someone to make a payment on their unpaid tax or face a lawsuit. Some calls have also told people to get in touch with a solicitor as they could be facing serious legal problems if they don’t pay immediately.
Bryony Hipkin from CPR Call Blocker is urging the public in Cheshire to simply put the phone down to unsolicited callers: “What we often see with phone scams is that they can quickly spread across the globe as scammers see what is working well in other places.
“After the large sums of money that have been lost in Australia to the recent ATO scam, it isn’t surprising to hear from our customers that a similar scam is now doing the rounds over here. So it’s sensible for people in Cheshire to be on their guard.
“The manner of these calls is both intimidating and threatening. These are classic tactics often used by scammers to try to bully members of the public and this can often make people panic and pay without thinking the process through first.
“We would always strongly recommend never paying something over the phone that you are unsure of. Especially in cases like this, where the call you receive is the first time you have heard of any payment that needs to be made.”
If you do receive a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC encouraging you to provide bank or personal details for alleged tax debts, always attempt to verify the caller’s ID. If you’re unable to do that, the best of course of action is to hang up and get in touch with HMRC yourself via its official website at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs
Ms Hipkin continued: “In the meantime, if you suspect you may have compromised your account, contact your bank or card provider as soon as possible. It also advisable to check your bank and card statements regularly for unauthorised charged as a matter of course.”