Action Fraud is warning people of a new trend that has hit the UK where offenders contact victims claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or a PPI Claims company and using deception, con them into paying bogus debts and taxes using iTunes gift cards.
Staffordshire Police received a call at 12:45pm 27 June reporting a suspicious phone call to a house in Burntwood. The phone call was received by a woman at 11am on Monday morning.
Upon answering the phone, a recorded message was heard stating it was HMRC and to press button 1. On doing so, she was diverted to an Asian male voice who said she owed a large sum of money in back tax and needed to pay it immediately as there was a court warrant in place.
The lady was told to go to Unit 6 in Lichfield and buy as many iTunes vouchers as she could in £50 and £100 denominations. The man became increasingly aggressive towards the lady, making threats of large fines and told her not to tell anyone what the iTunes vouchers were for. The number that came up on her telephone was 02036036559.
In this instance, the lady contacted the police and did not buy any vouchers.
This Fraud is currently impacting on Staffordshire’s communities with a number of reported crimes across the county.
Victims are being contacted in a variety of methods by fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC and are told they owe an outstanding debt. In the hundreds of cases reported to Action Fraud in the past month, the fraudsters all ask for payment in iTunes gift card voucher codes.
In some cases, callers claim to be from a PPI company and state that a large sum of money is waiting to be claimed. The fraudsters again ask for iTunes vouchers to be purchased.