Police are advising people to be alert to scam phone calls, text messages and emails about unpaid National Insurance contributions.
Hertfordshire Residents have been contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over the last few days. The victims were told there were outstanding National Insurance debts or unpaid taxes in their names and the fraudsters asked the victims to make bank transfers as payment.
Numerous members of the public also reported receiving missed calls from Hertfordshire Constabulary phone numbers, as well as emails about National Insurance, containing police contact numbers.
The fraudsters cold call victims using a spoofed number that appears to be a genuine Hertfordshire Constabulary phone number, sometimes leaving voicemail messages claiming that they owe payments. The victims are asked to call back on the number provided, through which they are told that there is a warrant out in their name and if they don’t pay, the police will arrest them.
The victims are also sometimes contacted via text messages asking them to urgently call the number provided, or via emails which contain bogus links.
Detective Chief Inspector Sam Khanna, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said: "These fraudsters tend to target elderly and vulnerable people and use the threat of arrest to frighten them into making bank transfers or using other methods to pay bogus debts or fines.
"It’s important to remember that government officials and police officers will NEVER contact you in these ways or ask you to buy gift cards, vouchers, withdraw money, purchase goods or hand over private banking details.
"Please help us to raise awareness by talking about this with your friends and family, especially if they are vulnerable or elderly."
How to protect yourself:
Hertfordshire Constabulary offers the following advice on recognising fraud:
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