Warning over scam HMRC calls in Hastings

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People living in the Hastings and St Leonards are warned to beware of a telephone scam where they are accused of owing HM Revenue and Customs money.

In one incident householders were told to buy £1,000 worth of money vouchers from their nearest supermarket and then await a courier, who would call round to collect them.

Similar calls have been reported by householders in Blackman Avenue and Edinburgh Road, St Leonards, during recent days.

Significantly, the number shown for the incoming calls starts with the digits 0203 and the caller is said to speak with a foreign accent.

During the calls, attempts have also been made to obtain date of birth and National Insurance numbers.

Daryl Holter, Hastings and Rother police public engagement officer, said: “It is possible that this scam is being tried elsewhere in Sussex, so the plea is for general awareness and caution.

“People called in similar circumstances should be on their guard and never divulge any personal information.”

An HMRC link concerning scamming can be found online at www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing

If a caller’s identity cannot be verified and raises concern, report details to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud.

They can also be contacted between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, on 0300 123 2050.

Calls will be charged at normal network rate.

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