Fraud victims across Nottinghamshire have lost £23,293 in just one week in March after being targeted by con-artists pretending to work for the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The force have worked closely with Action Fraud to support the victims after receiving 21 reports between 15-21 March 2021.
One 38-year-old man who didn’t wish to be identified lost £7,750 as English was his second language and fallen victim to the scam.
Meanwhile a 59-year-old woman lost close to £1,000 and nearly fell for the same scam twice, before the bank stopped a second transaction of £1,100 to fraudsters.
A vulnerable 69-year-old woman also lost £1,100 after she visited her local bank and transferred the money. She only realised it was a scam when the fraudsters called the next day wanting a further £1,000.
Concerned detectives from the force’s fraud department have issued a warning to the local community across the county after receiving the reports.
The scammers, pretending to work for HMRC, would normally call by using a withheld number or ‘spoofed’ telephone numbers that match a genuine HMRC number.
The called would typically tell the victim that they’re investigating some fraudulent activity due to unpaid taxes or that their National Insurance number has been linked to fraud. The scammers will then ask for a payment to be made to a suspect account.
Nottinghamshire Police’s Fraud Protect Officer Laura Murdock is concerned and urged the local community to report any incidents to the police but also to talk to their friends and family to make them aware.
She said: “We want to warn members of public about this type of fraud, we have worked really hard in Nottinghamshire by educating and working with the public through strong communication messages about possible scams.
“Please be vigilant when you answer a call from a withheld number, especially if they ask you to disclose personal or financial information.
“If you receive a call you’re not sure about, always insist on verifying the caller’s identity. If you’re calling them back, use a number known to be connected to the organisation in question, not the one provided by the caller.
“Make this call from a separate telephone line to the one that the call was received if you can. If you don’t have one, wait at least 10 minutes before calling on the same line.
“Legitimate organisations will understand you wanting to make these steps and will not take issue with it.
“Please note, HMRC, the police or your bank will never contact you and demand a payment is made. They will also never ask you for your National Insurance details or your bank details including your PIN.
“Please continue to spread the word ensuring elderly or vulnerable loved ones and neighbours are aware of these types of scams.”
If you believe that you are a victim of a scam please report the incident to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, on 0300 123 2040 or call the police on 101.