Police are warning householders in east Kent to beware of a phone scam operating in the area.
Householders have reported an automated call purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs telling them that they are under investigation and may be prosecuted.
They are then told to a ring another number where a scammer attempts to obtain their personal information.
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Kent Police says 30 people across the region have received such calls.
Sgt Greg Pochin said: “HMRC would never contact people in this way, so be on your guard.
“If you receive an automated call asking you to contact another number – it’s a scam.
“HMRC would also never ask you to reveal personal information, such as your bank account details, so if you receive a call of this nature, hang up and do not engage.”
Action Fraud, the police’s cyber crime reporting centre, is investigating the source of the calls.
HMRC has also issued its own advice. A spokesman said: “Phone scams are widely reported, and generally attempt to target elderly and vulnerable people.
“They often involve people receiving a call out of the blue and being told that HMRC is investigating them. If you can’t verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.
“HMRC will call people about outstanding tax bills, and sometimes use automated messages, however it would include your taxpayer reference number.
“If you are uncertain of the caller hang up and call HMRC directly to check – you can confirm our call centre numbers online if you are unsure. For tax credits we do not include your details in any voicemail messages.”
The authorities advise that anyone receiving such calls should not give out personal information such as bank details or PIN numbers.