Rise in scam across West Midlands
We’re urging people to be on their guard against scammers who claim to represent HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and demand ’owed’ cash.
There were 45 reports of West Midlands residents being contacted and told to hand over money, or face arrest for tax evasion, in just two weeks.
It led to con-artists pocketing just over £26,000 and we’re warning everyone across the region to be wary of suspicious phone calls or emails.
We’re advising people to never respond to messages asking for personal or financial details, including requests to send images that prove your identity.
Do not click on links or attachments in suspicious emails, and remember HMRC will never text, email or phone you out of the blue to ask for bank details and would not ask for PINs or passwords.
Kloe Burrows, from our Economic Crime Unit, said: "There’s been a recent rise in scammers targeting residents with the false claim they owe money and risk arrest.
"These con-artists are preying on the understandable fear and concern this would cause to then pocket hundreds or thousands of pounds from their victims.
"An official organisation would not contact you out of the blue and demand you share personal or financial details without appropriate security measures in place."
Suspicious emails and details of calls claiming to be from HMRC can be sent to email@example.com and texts to 60599. You can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 if you suffer financial loss.
Anyone with concerns over scammers can also contact us via Live Chat or by calling 101.