How to spot latest phone scam after police warning

Police have issued a stark warning about phone scammers trying to con people out of hundreds of pounds.

A warning has been made over phone scammers
A warning has been made over phone scammers

It comes as a victim, from Kingswinford, was cold called by someone impersonating an HMRC staff members and told she owned more than £700.

The victim was also told she could cover the cost by purchasing gift vouchers.

A West Midlands Police confirmed it has launched an investigation following the cold call and said HMRC would never request the settling of debt through such a method.

A spokesperson said: "Thankfully the woman in Kingswinford terminated the call and alerted police. We have launched an investigation and are asking people to warn vulnerable friends and neighbours about it."

Typically the victim of cold callers is contacted by someone who tells them that they owe large amounts of tax which they can only pay off through digital vouchers and gift cards, including those used for Apple’s iTunes Store.

Victims are told to go to a local shop, buy these vouchers, and then read out the redemption code to the scammer.

The conmen then sell on the codes or purchase high-value products, all at the victim’s expense.

West Midlands Police say the scammers frequently use intimidation to get what they want, threatening to seize the victim’s property or involve the police.

More information and prevention advice can be found at:

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