South Yorkshire Police's fraud co-ordination team has issued a warning to local residents about a national insurance scam.
A number of people in South Yorkshire have been called by scammers suggesting that there is a balance outstanding connected to their National Insurance number, or that their National Insurance number has been used fraudulently. In both instances, the caller asks victims to confirm their National Insurance number, bank details and sometimes their passport number.
Further calls are then made, with scammers pretending to be from the police, stating that a warrant is out for their arrest and they’ll need to attend a police station unless they pay.
PC Vicki Arrowsmith, from the force's fraud co-ordination team, said: "We know that thankfully, many people will treat calls like this with suspicion - but it's still vitally important that everyone spreads the word about scams like this, and makes sure their loved ones know how to spot the signs and keep themselves safe.
“Elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours could fall victim to these types of scams, and fraudsters may take advantage of people's struggles during the Coronavirus pandemic – especially that many people are anxious and isolated.
“Please be vigilant and remember that no matter how sincere the caller seems, they will never ask you to reveal your bank details or personal information on a call like this.”
If you think you have been a victim of this scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go online to actionfraud.police.uk.
You can also tell HMRC about the suspected scam by emailing [email protected], including the date of the call, the phone number used and the content of the call.
Be wary of telephone calls you receive from an official-sounding organisation out of the blue. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If in doubt, hang up, wait for 30 minutes, and then contact the organisation - ideally from a different phone - on a trusted number to check the call is genuine.
Remember genuine representatives from organisations such as the government and the police will never object to you making checks to verify they are who they say they are, and they will never ask for your bank details.