People in South Yorkshire are being urged to be on the look out for fraudsters who have been telling people to buy iTunes gift cards to pay outstanding tax bills.
South Yorkshire Police issued the warning on their Rotherham North Neighbourhood Policing Team Facebook page earlier today, and said victims were being contacted by the fraudsters by a ‘variety of different methods’.
A spokesman said: “Officers in South Yorkshire are warning communities about a type of fraud whereby victims are asked to pay for services/outstanding debts by using iTunes vouchers or gift cards.
“Victims are being contacted in a variety of methods by fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC and are told they owe an outstanding debt. The methods the fraudsters use are:
• Fraudsters are leaving victims automated voicemails saying that they owe HMRC unpaid taxes. When victims call back on the number provided, they are told that there is a warrant out in their name and if they don’t pay, the police will arrest them
• Fraudsters are cold calling victims using a spoofed 0300 200 3300 number and convincing them that they owe unpaid tax to HMRC
• Fraudsters are sending text messages that require victims to urgently call back on the number provided. When victims call back, they are told that there is a case being built against them for an outstanding debt and they must pay immediately.
“The fraudsters all ask for payment in iTunes gift card voucher codes. Regardless of the reason for payment, the scam follows a certain formula - the victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing App Store and iTunes Gift Cards from the nearest retailer (convenience store, electronics retailer, etc.).
“After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.
“Please do not ever provide the numbers on the back of the card to someone you do not know. Once those numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will likely be spent before you are able to contact the police or Apple.”
For more information and advice, you can visit the Action Fraud website here. You can also report crimes to Action Fraud on their website.