Northumbria Police is warning people to be aware of phoney calls being made to people demanding thousands in unpaid taxes.
The caller claims to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and in one call asked someone for £3,900 in unpaid taxes, which had to be paid by 3pm on the same day otherwise they would face a £10,000 fine or imprisonment for tax evasion.
The bank of one victim in her 60s contacted police because of concerns for the shaken woman.
Inspector Gary Dickson, of the central area command, said: “We are aware of a couple of recent incidents in the Newcastle area where people have received a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC.
“The caller stresses that the person being called must not tell friends, family or their bank and that they will be called with further instructions on how to pay.
“Any genuine request would not be made in this way and we would advise anyone who receives a call like this to ignore the instructions.”
Anyone seeking advice about this type of call, or similar scams where the caller asks for a payment to be made, should contact Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or head to the following website: www.actionfraud.police.uk