AN ELDERLY woman has been targeted by a scammer who warned her a warrant was out for her arrest if she did not pay her tax bill.

Police are investigating the incident, which saw a caller falsely claiming to be from HMRC during the phone call on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Police in East Lothian received a report that a woman in her eighties, who resides in Dunbar, was the victim of an attempted HMRC scam on September 3.

“We'd urge the public to remain vigilant if contacted by an unexpected caller claiming that you owe them money.”

Police have now issued advice to try to ensure members of the public are not caught out by the scammer.

The spokeswoman added: “If you have any doubts or concerns, hang up immediately and find the organisation's number online, or from a previous correspondence, and call the company direct to verify this.

“Never give your personal or banking details to anyone unless you are absolutely sure that their intentions are legitimate.

“If you think your banking details may have been compromised, contact your bank immediately."

HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) also urged people to hang up if they were unsure of the caller.

A HMRC spokesman said: “Phone scams are widely reported, and generally attempt to target elderly and vulnerable people.

“They often involve people receiving a call out of the blue and being told that HMRC is investigating them.

“If you can’t verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.

“HMRC will call people about outstanding tax bills, and sometimes use automated messages, however it would include your taxpayer reference number.

“If you are uncertain of the caller hang up and call HMRC directly to check – you can confirm our call centre numbers at if you are unsure.

“For tax credits we do not include your details in any voicemail messages.”