Police in Macclesfield are warning residents to be vigilant following a spate of hoax calls from people claiming to be from HMRC.
Over the course of 25 October 2016 police received 10 reports of people being called by someone purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The first part of the call is automated and the victim is asked to press one to speak to an advisor. The victim is then informed they are being investigated by HMRC and that someone is on their way to arrest them.
One of the victims was told to purchase £500 worth of iTunes vouchers and that someone would be around to collect the vouchers which would settle an outstanding debt.
DI Claire Jesson said: “None of the victims fell for the scam, but being told they were about to be arrested must have given them a shock. This is one of a variety of methods fraudsters are using while claiming to be from HMRC. Fraudsters are contacting victims via voicemails, spoofed calls and text messaging.
“If you are contacted via these methods, please be aware that HMRC would never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment via iTunes.
“Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephone display. If you receive a suspicious call end it immediately.”
Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
For more information go to: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/alert-hmrc-and-itunes-gift-card-scam-may16