Trading Standards at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are advising residents of a cold calling
scam where an imposter claims to be calling from HMRC.
Victims are told they will be prosecuted for £900 of underpaid income tax unless
payment is made imminently.
In some cases the caller asks for payment by money transfer or by purchasing gift
cards ( the consumer is asked to give the gift card numbers to the caller).
A spokesperson said: “Clearly we are concerned that this scam can cause distress
and anxiety for elderly or vulnerable residents as the caller sounds official and
depicts the matter as serious and urgent.
“As with all cold calls we warn that you should not give personal details or banking
information over the phone to unverified callers.
“We also advise that residents register their phone numbers with the Telephone Preference
Service along with any call blocking service which their telephone service providers
operate. After intervention from the regulator The Office for Communications, OFCOM,
the majority of telephone providers have now introduced nuisance calls blocking services.
Some of these ,such as the BT Protect are provided free to the user.
“In cases where vulnerable consumers are harassed by telephone cold callers we would
suggest purchasing robust call blocking technology.”
Scam calls can be reported to CNES Trading Standards on 01851 822694.