Bogus tax collectors have called dozens of people across Brighton and Hove over the past few days pretending to be from Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Sussex Police said: “Police are reminding people to remain vigilant after they received 45 reports on scam phone calls in just two days.
“Brighton and Hove police have seen a dramatic increase in residents receiving scam telephone calls claiming to be from HMRC.
“Victims have been told on the phone that HMRC are bringing a lawsuit against them and they need to call another number to speak to the officer dealing with the case.”
Sergeant James Ward said: “These scammers are targeting vulnerable people and they can be very forceful in their tone of voice.
“In the reports we have received the victims have all been left distressed and unsure of how to deal with the phone call requests.
“Under no circumstances would HMRC contact an individual over the phone and demand any outstanding money, request your bank details or ever arrange collection of bank cards from your home address.
“We are asking anyone who receives a phone such as this one to not call the other number but to call us instead.”
Suspicious phone calls can be reported to Sussex Police online or by dialling 101, quoting reference Operation Signature.