Fraudsters are threatening Monmouthshire residents with legal action by posing as HM Revenue & Customs in a new phone scam.
Hilda Turnbull took a “sinister” phone call at her home in Llanellen, near Abergavenny, around 8:30am last Wednesday morning (28 February) and said alarm bells immediately started ringing.
“I usually ignore obvious phone scams but I thought this one was particularly bad,” said Mrs Turnbull.
“The recorded message starts by saying “this is a time sensitive issue, ring 02896 205 123 or face serious legal consequences”.
“Further threats are then made and the number is repeated two or three times.
“While most scams are well-known, I’m worried these calls may frighten a lot of elderly people.”
Mrs Turnbull alerted local MP David Davies, who has reported the matter to Action Fraud.
“I was concerned to hear that residents in the constituency are being targeted like this,” he said.
“The scammers are using shock and panic tactics to scare callers. We need to stay vigilant and speak to elderly relatives or vulnerable people in our communities about the importance of verifying who’s on the other end of the phone.”
After issuing a warning on social media, Mr Davies was contacted by officials from HMRC. They are urging people not to respond to these calls and have released the following advice:
- Recognise the signs – genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details.
- Stay safe – don’t give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting.
- Take action – forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599, or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report any suspicious calls or use their online fraud reporting tool.
- Check GOV.UK for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact.