A WEE COUNTY woman has come forward to warn about "aggressive" scammers, after she found herself targeted by people demanding money for the third time in recent months.

Maureen Fraser had been coming home to find threatening voice messages on her house phone, allegedly left by HMRC employees.

They would claim she failed to pay taxes, and then provide a telephone number she was supposed to call to sort the matter out.

The 55-year-old was well aware that hoax callers were targeting people in Clacks, and roundly ignored them.

However, instead of being left alone, the Alloa woman found that whoever was calling became more menacing as the messages continued.

Most recently, Maureen discovered a voicemail on her mobile warning there was a warrant for her arrest.

She told the Advertiser: "I'm annoyed because of the cheek to say there's a warrant out for my arrest, otherwise I wouldn't care.

"I know other people have fallen for this scam, some in Sauchie and some down where I live – the older residents.

"Now I know my taxes are fine, but I just worry about others who think: 'Oh, Christ, I'm being done for tax evasion'."

Hoping to make sure as many people were aware of the hoax as possible, she decided to speak about her experience.

In particular, she wanted to make people aware of the increasingly aggressive nature of the messages they might receive, to ensure they are not fooled by it.

She said: "I'm worried about the people that don't know to ignore it, especially when they're using the term: 'There's a warrant out for your arrest for unpaid taxes.'

"This is the third time I have received one of these messages, but it's the first time that they have said there's a warrant out for my arrest.

"It's an aggressive scam, and that's what's bothering me. It's the aggression and saying there's a warrant."

According to the HMRC website, they are well aware of scammers targeting individuals across the UK under the pretext of calling from the organisation.

Scammers typically claim those they have called have failed to pay their taxes, and warn that legal action could be taken against them.

Anyone who does receive such a call or message has been advised by HMRC to hang up the phone, and avoid providing any private financial details to the caller.

Detective inspector Gordon Burns, from the Economic Crime Unit, said: "Such attempts to defraud people of money are widespread and I cannot stress enough the need for vigilance.

"Scammers employ a range of tactics in order to seem genuine. They claim to be from recognised organisations and are known to use the threat of legal action to frighten or pressure people into handing over money or personal details.

"I would urge people to be wary of all unknown callers. Never provide personal information to anyone whose identity or intentions you are not completely sure of.

"If you are concerned, hang up the call or ignore the text or email and find a legitimate way to contact the company directly to verify the claims being made.

"If you receive any suspicious calls, texts or emails claiming to be from HMRC visit their website for more information and report this to HMRC's phishing team at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk"