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Police urge public to be vigilant after 17 reports of scam calls in one morning

PUBLISHED: 16:13 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:13 26 October 2018

Broadland Council have warned people not to give their bank details out over the phone. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Broadland Council have warned people not to give their bank details out over the phone. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Police have asked people in Norfolk to be vigilant after more than 17 reports of fraudulent tax related cold calling in one morning.

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Police have asked people in Norfolk to be vigilant after more than 17 reports of fraudulent tax related cold calling in one morning.

The reports came from across Norfolk on Friday morning and in most cases, scammers have claimed to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) saying the person is involved in a lawsuit and owes money.

Norfolk Constabulary have urged people to make elderly or vulnerable relatives aware of the scam.

They said: “We would urge members of the public, particularly the elderly, to be vigilant to cold calls made on the telephone.

“Scammers have been targeting people across the county claiming to be from HMRC demanding money.

“Genuine organisations will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, passwords or bank details.

“We would also ask people with vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to make sure they are aware of this type of scam”

Ebony Marcia French, 28, from Lowestoft, received a call on Wednesday, she said: “I was very confused, anxious and felt myself slipping into a panic attack.”

An automated message said: “This is HM Revenue & Customs, we are calling to inform you that a Tax Fraud Case under your name is under investigation and there is currently a warrant out for your arrest. If you’d wish to speak to an officer.”

The mother then contacted HMRC about the call, who reassured her it was a scam and that they would never contact people in that way.

Other scammers have used emails, text messages and social media to try and deceive the public.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “HMRC takes security extremely seriously. We are aware that some people have received telephone calls from individuals claiming to be from HMRC. We have a well-known brand, which criminals abuse to add credibility to their scams.”

According to HMRC office, the scammers were “spoofing” their number in an attempt to deceive members of the public.

HMRC warned they would never contact people out of the blue and ask for their PIN, password or bank details.

•Have you been affected by cold calling? Email abigail.nicholson@archant.co.uk

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