Trading Standards warn of new scam
Croydon Trading Standards are warning consumers about a new scam. Fraudsters are pretending to be from HMRC or from the courts, and asking people to pay bogus taxes using iTunes gift cards.
The scammers are contacting people in three ways:
- Telephone calls or Voicemails: Victims are left automated voicemails saying that they owe HMRC unpaid taxes or that there is a PPI cheque waiting to be claimed at the courts and that they are entitled to a refund. When the victim follows up on the call, they’re told a warrant is out for their arrest. You may receive a telephone call from telephone number 020 812 30501 or be instructed to call this number when you have the iTunes vouchers to give them the verification code over the telephone
- Spoofed calls: Victims are also being cold-called using a “spoofed” 0300 200 3300 number.
- Text messages: Text messages from fraudsters urge victims to call back on the number provided, only to be told that they have an outstanding debt with HMRC.
- Fraudsters are using iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and easily 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.
- This is a scam
- Neither the courts or HMRC would contact you by phone nor would they ask for payment by iTunes vouchers
- Telephone numbers and text messages can be easily spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephone display
- If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately
- Don’t give or send any iTunes gift cards codes to anybody over the phone
- Never give your bank details or any personal details to strangers over the telephone
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
You can download Action on Elder Abuse’s free booklet on how to protect yourself or a loved one from financial abuse here.