Police Fraud Newsletter – July 2017
Increase in HMRC frauds
Sussex, elderly people are receiving a high volume of phone calls purporting to be from
HMRC. So far, none of them sent money, but it is vital that people are aware of the signs
and act on them.
This is a recent case study:
A man of 87 living alone in East Sussex, received a call from a woman claiming to be from
HMRC. He was transferred on the line and spoke to an unknown male saying that he
owed them money and that he would be taken to court if he didn’t pay up. The victim
offered to pay and the caller told him to go to their office in Tunbridge Wells.
The victim said he could not get there, so the caller then told him to go to buy iTunes
vouchers from Tesco, so he consequently went to Tesco in Bexhill-On-Sea and tried to
obtain £1500 worth.
The manager at Tesco asked him lots of questions and became suspicious and told the
victim this was a scam. The caller was still on his mobile phone while he was trying to buy
the vouchers. The Tesco manager asked to talk to him and when he did the caller on the
end of the phone swore at the manager. Luckily no money was parted with and the
incident was reported to the Police.
These are some of the contact methods used to defraud people in Sussex:
• Voicemails: saying you owe HMRC unpaid tax.
• Text messages: fraudsters send you a text message requesting you to urgently call
back on the number provided.
HMRC will never use a text message to inform you about a tax rebate or penalty.
HMRC will never ask for any payment in the form of iTunes Vouchers. As well as
iTunes vouchers, HMRC would not ask for payment in the form of any other
vouchers or any other payment methods. HMRC will never use texts to tell you
about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment in this way.
If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim
of fraud call Sussex Police on 101 or visit www.sussex.police.uk
If you need to a report fraud or attempted fraud, you can do so by
contacting Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040. You can also
read the latest Action Fraud alerts at or by following @actionfrauduk