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Tax scam warning issued by local police

HM Revenue and Customs Alert



Hertfordshire constabulary is warning locals of a tax fraud scam where people are threatened with legal action unless they make a payment immediately.

The police advice is to always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information and contact the business directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.

The warning is being circulated by the police Online Watch Link (OWL). Crime alert from Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer Terry Morris reproduced below.



Dear Watch Member,

Action Fraud is experiencing an increase in reports by members of the public who have received calls, voicemails, text messages or emails purporting to be from HMRC, claiming that they have an unpaid tax debt.

The phoney HMRC contact states that as a result of non-payment of tax, you are liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings but you can avoid this by arranging for immediate payment by methods such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards. The fraudster may threaten you with arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.

Contacts of this nature will be a fraud. The genuine HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) would never contact you by email, text message or phone call to tell you about a tax penalty or rebate, nor would they ask for your personal or payment information.

What you need to do

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows some details about you, it doesn't mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the business directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.

If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation would ask you to pay taxes or fees using iTunes gift cards, or any other type of voucher.

Don’t be pressured into making a quick decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine government department or bank force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud. You can also report HMRC scam/phishing attempts directly to HMRC.

Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer Terry Morris




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