Residents are being warned of a scam using the name of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to terrify people into handing over their hard earned cash.
Cheshire West and Chester Council ’s Trading Standards officers have issued the warning about the con which appears to be targeting elderly and vulnerable people.
Some residents have received a recorded message, allegedly from HMRC, stating that HMRC is bringing a lawsuit against the individual and is going to sue them.
The recipient is then asked to phone a number back and press ‘1’ to speak to the officer dealing with the case.
It is understood the caller is then connected to the scammer who states the amount of unpaid tax and often asks for payment in vouchers.
The team is aware of a number of cases across the borough although nobody appears to have handed over any money so far.
Councillor Karen Shore, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “This scam has been widely reported and appears to be targeting elderly and vulnerable people. HMRC is urging people not to respond to these messages.
“These fraudsters are using shock and panic tactics to terrify callers into paying up instantly by phone before they realise they have been scammed.
“If you have been affected, please help HMRC’s investigations by forwarding details such as date, time of call and the telephone number used to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
For further advice or information on this issue or any other Trading Standards matters call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. If an incident like this has resulted in financial loss report it to Action Fraud .