Kent County Council (KCC) are alerting people to the large increase in the number of scam phone calls from people claiming to be HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
They warn that those calling often claim that there are overpaid tax credits or an overdue tax bill that the resident must pay immediately, warning that during some calls the scammer is a police officer with a warrant for their arrest.
Victims are also told that they will be taken to court where they could face five years in prison if they don’t pay, otherwise somebody will arrive at their house and collect goods that match that value.
Scammers ask for payment by bank transfer and then to send a photo on WhatsApp to confirm the money has been taken out, as well as getting victims to send photos of giftcard voucher codes like iTunes or Amazon.
One person even went as far as paying cash because they couldn’t pay by card, and were given directions on where they should leave the money.
KCC are warning people to hang up and to not return their calls, and to not hand out any obvious personal information and details like bank statements.
They have also said that anyone who has already given money to the scammers should contact Kent police by calling 101.