FRAUDSTERS have been targeting Northwich residents in a HMRC phishing scam.

Residents took to Facebook to warn others after they were contacted by HMRC regarding a council tax refund.

Liam Ashbrook, from Winnington said he was targeted last week.

Speaking on Facebook, he said: “If you're like me and you go on your emails a lot and come across this please do not fall for it.

“It looks completely legit and normally I can tell, it links you to what looks like their proper website but it isn't.”

Donna Smith said she received ‘several’ emails and Tricia Crank said she was targeted by text.

A police spokesman said scammers leave voicemails on victims’ voicemails stating they owe HMRC unpaid taxes.

When victims call back hey are told there is a warrant out for their arrest, unless they make payment via iTunes Vouchers.

Fraudsters also cold call victims using a spoofed 0300 200 3300 number.

When return the call, they are told that there is a case being built against them for an outstanding debt and they must pay immediately.

Cheshire Police said it is not aware of the scam impacting Cheshire, though has warned residents to stay vigilant.

Sgt Brian Faint from Cheshire police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed and you should never trust the number you see on your telephone display.

"If you receive a suspicious call end it immediately.

“Fraud can have a devastating impact on those who fall victim to phishing emails/phone calls and Cheshire police do all we can to tackle this type of crime.

“I would encourage Cheshire residents to follow the advice issued by Action Fraud.”

HMRC will never use text message to inform about a tax rebate or penalty and will never ask for any payment in the form of iTunes Vouchers.

HMRC advises that if you receive an unexpected call, whereby the caller requests an advance fee in the form of iTunes gift cards, the call should immediately be terminated.

If you have been affected by this scam contact Cheshire Police on 101.