FRAUD officers have warned residents across South Yorkshire to beware of a telephone scam involving Amazon vouchers.
The fraudster calls — pretending to be from HMRC — saying there has been a tax fraud allegation against the victim.
They say there is a warrant out for their arrest and put them through to someone who appears to be calling from a South Yorkshire Police number.
The victim is then told that HMRC is working with Amazon and they must go to a post office to buy a number of £100 Amazon vouchers, then send the codes to the fraudster.
PC Vicki Arrowsmith, from the force’s fraud co-ordination team, said: “These phone calls can be very distressing to receive, particularly if you are a vulnerable person, so it’s really important everybody spreads the message about these scams with their elderly or vulnerable loved ones.
“These fraudsters can be extremely convincing and I have no doubt it would frighten a lot of people if they thought there was a warrant out for their arrest.
“The scam appears even more legitimate when it looks like you are being called from a real SYP phone number.
“This trick is known as ‘spoofing’. Fraudsters can use technology to make it look like they are phoning from a known number.
“My main piece of advice is that if you are in any doubt at all, hang up, wait for 30 minutes and then contact HMRC, ideally from a different phone, on a trusted number to verify the authenticity.
“Genuine HMRC staff will never object to you making checks to ensure they are who they say they are.”
Anyone who believes they have been a victim of this scam can report it via 0300 123 2040 or actionfraud.police.uk.
You can also tell HMRC about the suspected scam by emailing email@example.com, including the date of the call, the phone number used and the content of the call.