PSNI warn over HMRC tricksters

Phone scamers have been targetting Derry this week (file pic)
Phone scamers have been targetting Derry this week (file pic)

Police have urged local people to protect themselves against fraudsters who claim to represent HMRC and trick them into making a bogus payment.

The call follows numerous reports from people in Derry that they are being issued with demands for money and threatened with legal action by fraudsters claiming that they owe income tax.

At least one unsuspecting victim is now known to have lost a sum of cash.

A number of local people reported last week how elderly residents were targeted on their landline phones by the scammers claiming to be from HMRC and warning people to phone a bogus telephone number.

PSNI Inspector Alison Ferguson said: “I would urge members of the public to always air on the side of caution with any telephone call, text, email or letter asking for payment or personal details in order to release money, refund fees, pay lottery wins or supply a holiday, giveaway or service.

“Scammers are inventive and can be very convincing, but each scam is designed to tempt you to drop your guard.

“If you are at all suspicious about a call that you receive, hang up and phone the organisation that the person is purporting to represent to check their authenticity. Ideally make the call from another telephone so you can be sure the original caller has not remained on the line. If you have received a call of this kind, or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040, or call police on the non-emergency number 101.”

Further advice is available at www.psni.police.uk/crime/fraud/ or www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni