New tactics for phone fraudsters

Criminals trying to defraud Northumberland residents by phone have begun concocting new false stories, county trading standards chiefs have warned.

Sunday, 11th September 2016, 07:40 am
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 15:30 pm
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

Victims of attempted scams have reported strangers pretending to be HMRC officials threatening to take them to court for so-called unpaid tax, while other con-artists claim they are council staff offering help with compensation after imaginary accidents.

People reporting these calls include residents in Cramlington and West Sleekburn.

There was also a recent incident where an elderly woman in the North East was tricked into handing over bank account information by a caller who falsely said her home had been put in the incorrect council tax band and that she was due a refund.

None of these tactics are genuine calls and householders should hang up, without giving personal or financial details.

David Sayer, Northumberland County Council’s business compliance and public safety manager, said: “We are receiving up to six complaints daily.

“Callers can be very persuasive, even threatening – especially with vulnerable householders.

“If you are worried about any official-sounding call you receive, hang up and call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4040506.”