A warning has been issued about a phone scam claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which threatens legal action if they are not paid immediately.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team has received “a number of complaints” about the scam, which suggests the HMRC will be filing a lawsuit if they are not paid.
The automated message then asks the caller to “press one to speak to a caseworker in order to make an immediate payment”.
A 65-year-old Nottinghamshire woman was among those who reported the scam.
She said: “Having just retired it was alarming and upsetting to receive an answerphone message informing me that HMRC had a warrant out for me for my arrest.
“I had to press one on my phone to speak to a caseworker and thankfully this was followed by a dead tone. I’ve contacted the HMRC and they told me they only ever contact people by letter, never by email or phone call.
“I have been a very risk-adverse person over the years so I felt very stupid afterwards.”
Action Fraud warned of a similar scam in June 2017. HMRC is also aware of the scam.
A statement posted on the HMRC website said: “HMRC is aware of an automated phone call scam which states that HMRC is filing a lawsuit against the recipient and states they should ‘press one to speak to a case worker in order to make an immediate payment’.
We can confirm that this is a scam and you should end the call immediately.
“This scam has been widely reported, and appears to be targeting elderly and vulnerable people.”
Councillor Gordon Wheeler, vice-chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s communities and places committee, urged residents to “ignore” scam phonecalls.
He said: “There are currently a wide range of scams purporting to be from the HMRC involving payments and refunds, which can also be in the form of an email or a direct message via social media.
“These telephone calls in particular put people on the spot and require them to make a quick decision, so we are urging people to ignore all such calls.”
Anyone with any concerns about a scam should call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Please see https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/warning-phone-scam-after-woman-1442306