Police in Londonderry have received reports of a significant number of calls from people purporting to be from tax officials.
In the past 24 hours, a large number of people in the city have been contacted with demands for money, with some victims being threatened with arrest if they do not pay.
Typically the fraudsters, claiming to be from HMRC, have targeted older and vulnerable people, leaving some of them in a distressed state.
Detective Constable Stephen Crooks, of PSNI’s Economic Crime Branch said, "This is an ongoing scam that has affected many areas across the Provence in recent months.
"We would advise the public that people in Derry/Londonderry are receiving HMRC scam calls.
"Be aware and ignore any demands for money. If you receive one of these phone calls end it immediately and do not engage with the fraudster in any way," he added.
Details on how to report fraud can be found on the PSNI website - https://www.psni.police.uk/crime/fraud/Reporting-Fraud/
Further information can be accessed on the Action Fraud website - http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/…/alert-fraudsters-claimin…
Police fraud experts have offered the following advice for protecting yourself against these sorts of scams:
- HMRC will never use texts or phone call to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment in this way.
- Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephones display.
- If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.