Scammers targeting phone lines in Honiton to plunder hundreds of pounds

PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:42 18 April 2018

PCSO Darren England says scammers are threatening residents who don't hand over their cash.

PCSO Darren England says scammers are threatening residents who don't hand over their cash.


‘Professional scammers’ are targeting phone lines in Honiton in an attempt to plunder hundreds of pounds from residents’ bank accounts.

The frightening method, in which the callers purport to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been revealed by a Honiton PCSO, who was targeted twice last week.

PCSO Darren England says several residents have been forced into a panic after they received threats for not handing their cash over.

In the calls, an automated voice says they had been trying to get hold of the receiver regarding ‘legal action’ - and should ‘press one’ to speak to someone.

Mr England said: “I received a phone call from an ‘020’ number on Saturday. On the Friday night, I had actually dealt with two jobs involving these scam calls.”

Mr England said he did not entertain the call and hung up - and is urging future victims to follow suit.

He revealed two people in Honiton had already been targeted by the scammers, who demanded varying sums of money - £800 and £1,600.

Mr England said: “When these people refused, the scammers threatened that they would call the police on them and a warrant for their arrest would be put out.

“People are more scared of these calls because the scammers are purporting to be from the HMRC, not PPI or other services.”

Mr England said another victim was forced to rush to her bank after a caller threatened to close her accounts because she had refused to hand money over.

He added: “There have been a lot of reports in east and mid Devon in regards to these calls.

“People are extremely frightened when the callers say they are from HMRC - this is scaring people into pressing one.

“They need to understand HMRC will not just phone you up and ask for money - they have proper procedures in place.

“These people are professional scammers, they know what they are doing and they are very good at it. They want your details so they can start pressing you to get your money.

“Do not engage in conversation with these people - hang up.

“These people are not only using international numbers, they are using cheap pay-as-you go mobile phones as well.”

Anyone who believes they have been targeted should contact Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories


Popular open top bus service will operate between Charmouth, Lyme, Seaton and Beer

Read more

A Honiton butcher has expressed his disgust after what is believed to be a large vehicle caused £2,000 worth of damage to his canopy - by crunching into it.

Read more

The shopping in scene in Honiton’s New Street has been dealt a fresh blow after a business announced it will close tomorrow (Friday).

Read more

Local school children join the fight for cleaner seas to safeguard wildlife

Read more

Vehicle’s catalytic converter catches alight

Read more

Organisers are hoping for even more exhibits this year after the fruitful growing season

Read more
Yesterday, 17:44

Honiton’s high street was awash with hundreds of people today (Wednesday) who turned out in force to observe the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to the town.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:01

Twenty members visit Bicton Gardens to enjoy the flowers

Read more
Yesterday, 07:15

Sidmouth firefighters help to free her

Read more
Yesterday, 07:01

East Devon’s countryside team is planning a series of fun filled activities in August

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Midweek Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder


Show Job Lists

Find planning applications