Detectives have been made aware of a spate of hoax calls from scammers claiming to be police officers from Cheshire Constabulary acting on behalf of HMRC.
There have been several reports over the last two months whereby people have been receiving calls from someone purporting to be a police officer or from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The first part of the call is automated and asks the victim to press 1 in order to be connected to HMRC.
A recorded message then then informs the victim that they have an unpaid tax bill and that there is a warrant out for their arrest unless they pay the balance immediately.
The fraudsters then ask the victims to make a bank transfer to pay off their supposed outstanding tax bill.
Scammers can also make calls appear as though they come from legitimate numbers and in one recent case the numbers traced back to a Cheshire based police station and HMRC.
Detective Sergeant Chris Jacques of the Economic Crime Unit said: “It is important to remember that police officers and HRMC will never call you and ask you to settle the balance of a tax bill over the phone.
“Telephone numbers can easily be spoofed and you should never trust the number you see on your telephone display.
“If you receive a suspicious call, do not give any information over the phone and end the call immediately.
“I would advise anyone who believes that they may have been a victim to this scam to please report it to us on 101 or via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report/.”
Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “I am deeply concerned to hear about this recent spate of fraudsters claiming to be police officers.
“Fraud has a significant emotional and financial impact on victims so, as the Police and Crime Commissioner, I am committed to supporting those affected and to ensuring that action is taken.
“I am urging all residents to remain vigilant and tell their family, friends and neighbours to be wary of these scams in order to protect against fraud in Cheshire.”
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.
Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Administrator, Corporate Communications)