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HMRC telephone scam reported in Kingswinford

We’re warning the public about a HMRC phone scam that was reported in Kingswinford, Dudley on Tuesday (11 December).

The victim was cold called by someone impersonating an HMRC member of staff. They informed her that she owed over £700, and would need to purchase gift vouchers to cover the cost.

This is a well-known scam. 

telephone fraud

Typically the victim is called 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, who has kept them on the phone the whole time. The conmen then sell on the codes or purchase high-value products, all at the victim’s expense.

stock image; Action Fraud
Stock image: Action Fraud

The scammers frequently use intimidation to get what they want, threatening to seize the victim’s property or involve the police. The use of vouchers is an attractive scam as they are easy to sell on and hard to trace once used.

HMRC would never request the settling of debt through such a method.

Thankfully the woman in Kingswinford terminated the call and alerted police. We’ve launched an investigation and are asking people to warn vulnerable friends and neighbours about it.

More information and prevention advice can be found here.