Tax scammers con 18 Hertfordshire victims out of £21,934 in a week
Police are investigating a spate of phone scams by fraudsters posing as tax officials which resulted in 18 people in Hertfordshire being conned out of £21,934 in the space of a week.
In one case, a caller purporting to be from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HRMC) tricked the victim out of £15,000.
One victim told police: “I had to phone back HMRC on a London number. It was time sensitive and there would be legal consequences if I didn’t phone back.
"I phoned back and a very harsh man said there was a tax miscalculation and a warrant for my arrest. I asked if I could pay to avoid any further proceedings and he put me through to his boss, who was very convincing.”
In some incidents, scammers claimed to be from the Crown Prosecution Service or the Royal Courts of Justice rather than HMRC.
Hertfordshire Constabulary also received three further reports of a jury service scam. Victims received a text message saying they were being summonsed for jury service. The text contained a link to a fake Government website where they were told they could pay £35 to defer their duty for six months.
Police are advising people to be wary of HMRC-related phishing emails and bogus text messages.
A spokesman said: "HMRC or the Royal Courts of Justice will never call you. If you receive these calls, politely close the call and do not provide any details and report to www.actionfraud.police.uk ."