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Warning to others after 'frightening' scam call used fake HMRC number

PUBLISHED: 13:41 04 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 04 January 2019

A north Norfolk doctor said he had been left feeling paranoid after being targeted by a frightening telephone scam. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA

A north Norfolk doctor said he had been left feeling paranoid after being targeted by a frightening telephone scam. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA

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A north Norfolk doctor said he had been left feeling "paranoid" after being targeted by a "frightening" telephone scam.

Thomas McNamara, 61, urged caution after he had a missed call from scammers faking a phone number from HM Revenue and Customs. Photo: GettyThomas McNamara, 61, urged caution after he had a missed call from scammers faking a phone number from HM Revenue and Customs. Photo: Getty

Thomas McNamara, 61, urged caution after he had a missed call from scammers faking a phone number from HM Revenue and Customs on Thursday, January 4.

But after redialling the number, he received a message warning him of potential fraud, and was told by HMRC that scammers have developed a way of appearing to use a legitimate contact number.

Dr McNamara, who holds a PhD in sustainable transport, described the experience as “frightening” and said: “I’m so paranoid now.

“I hope I’m savvy enough.

“I’m just going to be really careful about everything that any provider says.”

He added: “It’s just so worrying that it’s out there all the time.”

Dr McNamara posted a warning on social media to let others know about his experience.

He said: “Please be aware of a new HMRC telephone scam.

“Today I missed a call from 0300 200 3310 to my mobile. I googled the number and it came up as the HMRC self-assessment team.

“I tried to phone it back and immediately my phone cancelled it with a message of ‘possible fraud’.

“I googled HMRC and called them via 0300 200 3300.

“I spoke to somebody who confirmed that the call to me from 0300 200 3100 was a scam.

“Apparently these crooks have developed a way of ringing people showing a bona fide HMRC number.

“The lady at HMRC stated that if HMRC called a number which did not answer, no number would be left as any call from HMRC would effectively be from a withheld number.

“Be careful out there.”

Dr McNamara, who moved to Holt from Southhampton a year ago, added: “The more people know about it, the more prepared they can be, especially the elderly.

“ A friend of my daughter’s was targeted by one of these scams and lost £19,000 to them.”

Official government advice on avoiding scams, published on gov.uk, states: “Report misleading websites, emails, phone numbers, phone calls or text messages you think may be suspicious.

“Do not give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.”

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