Action Fraud is warning people to watch out for cold calls from fraudsters purporting to be from the Home Office. One of these calls has left one victim £12,000 out of pocket.
In multiple reports received by Action Fraud, scammers have contacted victims and used threatening language in order to persuade them into handing over money through a variety of methods and for fictitious reasons.
The fraudsters have been using various names including; Gary Dawson, Sharique and John Smith. In some cases the fraudsters already have personal information about victims.
They have been calling from 0843 487 1813 and instructing victims to run internet searches which lead to: www.homeofficecontactnumber.co.uk for verification. The Home Office has been notified and have confirmed both as fake.
The majority of the reports involve victims being instructed to make payments via Western Union or Moneygram to avoid deportation to India. The fraudsters are also telling victims that they are suspected “terrorists” and must comply or be arrested/deported immediately.
In another report one victim was given instructions to log onto their computer and download TeamViewer – legitimate software that allows fraudsters remote access via the internet. He was then advised to log onto his online banking and transfer funds to stop a “Deportation Order”.
The fraudsters threatened the victim with a “black mark” on their passport that would stop them travelling anywhere in the UK.
All the reports have been passed onto the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) for analysis and assessment.
If you receive one of these calls - hang up immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the online reporting tool.