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Crawley residents new warning of fraudsters using tax evasion to lure victims

Elderly and vulnerable people are being warned to beware of phone calls from fraudsters pretending to be from HM Customs and Revenue (HMRC) or the police.

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The bogus callers claim the targeted person is wanted for tax evasion and is arrestable on warrant unless they pay a cash sum – usually some £3,000 to £4,000 – to clear their ‘debt’.

Some even address victims by name, or use a number that is often displayed as the official number of the agency they claim to represent, to add credibility to their call.

But the genuine authorities stress that people would never be texted or telephoned by them out of the blue with requests for payments, to log in to an online account or to disclose personal information, such as PIN numbers, passwords or bank details.

Anyone receiving such contact should hang up and report the call – preferably using a separate phone or computer in case the criminals have kept the line open – to police at 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

It is understood that HMRC received more than 60,000 reports of phone scams in the six months up to January 2019, an increase of 360 per cent on the preceding six months.

Sergeant Kat Argholeka, of Sussex Police, said:

“This underlines the importance of never giving out private information and reporting any suspicious activity without delay.

“We’d also ask friends or relatives of potentially vulnerable people to ensure they are fully aware and alert to the risks.”

For further advice, please goto Sussex Police website by clicking here.

Community

How more than 600 runners have helped a Crawley school raise almost £7k for NHS

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They have come together as a community to support the NHS but in a very unique way.

Starting out as a Sussex football community initiative it was picked up by Head of PE from Oriel High School, Ryan Ashley putting forward the challenge after himself running the 5K and donating some money.

Since then another 619 runners have taken part who are a mix of teachers, students, parents, carers and even friends of the school with some running from as far afield as New Zealand, Abu Dhabi and South Africa.

So far they have raised an amazing £6744.

Ryan Ashley said:

“We’re so proud of the support that all sections of the Oriel community have given towards such a great cause and initiative.

The school’s fundraising efforts have gained recognition from sports stars Dina Asher-Smith, Jofra Archer, Delray Rawlins and Karen Pickering MBE, as well as from Kevin Keehan & Scott Kirkwood who set up the Run5k4NHS initiative and the BSUH charity themselves.”

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