A PENSIONER has outwitted a couple of terrifying fraudsters with her quick thinking.

The 65-year old from Maryport received a menacing phone call on Wednesday morning from a man claiming to be from the tax department.

He told her she owed £4,986 in unpaid tax and that this was a criminal offence and, if not paid within half an hour, she would be arrested and sent to jail for 21 days.

She was also threatened to have goods to the value of the unpaid tax removed from her house if she did not pay up.

The woman, who does not want to be named, said she was “absolutely terrified”.

“I kept telling them I didn’t owe any tax, but they wouldn’t listen,” she told the Times & Star.

“At one stage I said I would turn myself into the police and was told: ‘Don’t worry. They are on their way’.

She told them she had no computer so was told to keep the phone open, drive to her bank and transfer the funds.

“This was a second man who gave me these instructions,” she explained. “It was only when he said that I shouldn’t talk to a third party that I realised this was a scam.”

The woman told the caller that her bank was eight miles away.

She then got in her car, with the phone open beside her and drove straight to Workington Police Station.

“I ran in and told the woman at the desk about the call. She got hold of an officer just coming in and he spoke to the man on the phone.

“The man told him he was not on their register. The policeman replied that they were now on his.

“But he said it was an overseas call so it could not be traced.”

The caller ended the call once the policeman spoke to him.

The police gave her a number to log on to the fraud department.

“I have been told that if I call, there will be someone with me within 10 minutes,” she said

The woman said the call left her frightened.

“I was crying when I got to the police station and hysterical afterwards,” she said.

“[The scammers] were so menacing; so frightening.”

Police have praised the woman for her quick-thinking actions.

But her son and daughter had other advice: “Hang up!”