A great-gran was left upset and shaken after she was targeted in an attempted tax scam.
The 84-year-old, from Douglas, received a call on her house phone from someone purporting to be from the HMRC, warning her to get in touch and transfer cash to clear a debt or she would be arrested.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said that fortunately she didn’t fall for the fraud attempt, which she described as “pretty convincing” – especially for pensioners.
Now she is keen to warn others in the city to be vigilant if they received a similar call.
She said: “I got a phone call on my house phone. An automated voice said that I was at risk of being arrested if I didn’t get in touch with HMRC immediately.
“The voice then said I had to press one on my phone to be transferred to avoid any risk of arrest.
“To begin with I wondered what to do but then I just hung up. I was very shaken and very concerned.”
Dorothy McHugh, secretary of Dundee Pensioner’s Forum, said that the group was deeply concerned to learn about the attempted scam.
She said: “We are once again concerned to hear that criminals are attempting to defraud older people by pretending to be HMRC officers and threatening arrest if money is not paid immediately.
“This is a disgraceful scam. We urge anyone who receives an email, text or telephone call of this type to report it to Police Scotland as quickly as possible.
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“Criminals are at work here. Please be vigilant. If something doesn’t feel right – it probably isn’t.
“The forum will be discussing these and other issues where older people are at risk, at our public meeting planned for the end of January.“
An HMRC spokesman said: “HMRC will only ever call you asking for payment on a debt that you are already aware of, either having received a letter about it, or after you’ve told us you owe some tax, for example through a self-assessment return.
“If someone calls claiming to be from HMRC saying you will be arrested, that we are filing a lawsuit against you and asks for information such as your name, card or bank details, then hang up and report it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work to take them off the network.”
People should also contact their bank immediately, or report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 if they have suffered financial loss.