Adam Thomas’ pregnant wife Caroline was left in ‘floods of tears’ after she was almost conned by a hoax call from a man pretending to be from HMRC.
The former Emmerdale star’s wife, who is expecting her second child with her husband imminently, revealed that she was told she owed HM Revenue and Customs almost £2,000 in tax and could face a £50,000 fine and up to five years in prison if she failed to pay the sum.
Admitting she believed the hoax caller because he knew plenty of her personal information, she revealed she was only saved from parting with her cash by her husband, who quickly realised Caroline was speaking to a conman.
In a lengthy post shared on her Instagram account, Caroline explained the horrific ordeal.
She said: ‘I had the most horrible experience yesterday… I called the number back, the extremely professional man on the end of the phone asked me for my name so he could find me on his system, he then told me my address. Asked if I had a pen and paper and if I could write down the crime reference number, arrest warrant number and his personal officer number explaining he worked for HMRC.
‘He then informed me I was owing £1723.80 for tax and that I could be facing up to £50,000 fine and up to 5 years imprisonment.
‘I always make sure that all my bills are paid on time but as he was so believable and new so much information about me he had me doubting myself, had I or my accountant made a mistake?’
She continued: ‘Some of you may have guessed buy the end of a 15 minute phone call, me in floods of tears and @adamthomas21 slamming the phone down we realised it was a scam, i am not stupid and would never give my bank details to anyone over the phone but I was just lucky that I had my husband with me.’
Caroline then offered words of advice to her followers should they receive the same message from someone claiming to be from HMRC.
‘Some of you might believe you are too streetwise to be scammed but the frightening and persuasive, clever individual on the other end of the phone had me (at nearly eight months pregnant) in a state I haven’t been in for years. Please be so careful and vigilant with who you trust, I don’t want anyone to go through what I did yesterday! How do these people sleep at night???’
Caroline’s fans and followers were quick to flood the pregnant mum with support and kind words, as well as thanking her for the important warning.
‘I keep getting that number pop up but im forever ignoring it. If it comes up again im blocking it. Thanks for the warning’ one fan wrote, with another saying, ‘Thats awful! So glad that you saw sense! These people are vile! I work for a major high street bank and see this kind of thing every day!’
For more information about fraudulent HMRC emails or text messages, go to gov.uk.
HMRC will never send notifications of a tax rebate or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email or text message. If you think you have an email or text message that could be a scam, you should forward anything suspicious to the HMRC phishing team on firstname.lastname@example.org