Bromley residents are being warned about an increase in sinister scams.

Bromley Neighbourhood Watch Association says Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public purporting to be from HM Revenue and Customs.

The Association warns: "The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards."

It added that victims who refuse to comply are often threatened with arrest, bailiffs or deportation in some cases.

Once the money is paid, the suspects sever all contact with the victim.

The Bromley team urged people to be cautious when receiving such messages or phone calls.

Here is what you can do:

Action Fraud advises people to always question unsolicited requests for personal or financial information.

You should contact the company directly using a trusted number or email address, even if the suspicious caller knows your basic details.

Remember that no genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using an ITunes gift card, or any voucher.

No bank would ask for a financial transaction on the spot, so don’t feel pressured to make an immediate decision.

If you receive a suspicious call, text or email, and have not lost money, the best course of action it to contact Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.