Home   News   Article

Fraudsters tricking public out of thousands in iTunes scam




iTunes scam warning
iTunes scam warning

Members of the public have been conned out of thousands of pounds by fraudsters posing as government officials.

The con artists, claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are tricking people into paying non-existent debts using iTunes gift cards.

Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, said it had received hundreds of calls in the past month related to the con.

The scammers are using a variety of methods to contact victims, including voicemails, text messages and direct phone calls.

In each instance, victims are told that they own an outstanding debt to HMRC and are asked to make a payment using iTunes gift card voucher codes.

In several cases those targeted have handed over thousands of pounds after being taken in by the fraud. One victim handed over codes worth £15,000 after a cold caller convinced them they owed the sum to the Government.

The scammers are demanding payment in iTunes gift cards because they can be easily redeemed and sold on. The scammers don’t need the physical card to redeem the value and instead get victims to read out the serial code on the back over the phone.

The fraudsters are contacting victims in three ways: by voicemail, text message or spoofed calls. When victims contact the number left in the messages they are told either that HMRC is building a case against them for an outstanding debt or that a warrant has be issued for their arrest. They are then convinced that to avoid this they must make the payment using the voucher codes.

In the wake of the new scam Action Fraud has emphasised that HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment in this way.

It also warned that phone numbers can easily be spoofed and that if you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of a call you should hang up immediately.



COMMENTS
()


Iliffe Media does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments

We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.

If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More