Police warn that fraudsters continue to contact residents claiming to be from HMRC (the Tax Office) telling them that they owe money and that an arrest warrant will be issued if they don’t hand over payment.
A Keynsham resident received a voicemail asking them to call back on a certain number, and when the resident called he was told that he owed money to HMRC and that he would be sent to court if he didn’t pay. The victim was told to purchase Amazon gift cards as the tax office was closed due to the Covid-19 virus and they couldn’t accept debit card payment. Sadly these were purchased and the codes and reference numbers were handed over during another call at significant cost. There has been a similar incident in Cheddar but this time the scam was spotted by a Neighbourhood Watch member.
These offenders are very convincing, using the fear of arrest to panic their victims into handing over payment for the non-existing debts. They may give passwords and fake identity names and “badge” numbers.
HMRC will never telephone to threaten court proceedings as a first contact, and they certainly don’t take gift cards as a means of payment. If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately. If you are concerned contact your local tax office using a phone number from previous printed communication or from the phonebook. Never use a phone number provided by the scammer.