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Police Scotland Warning of Telephone Scam

24th January 2018

Warning of Phone Scam

Police Scotland would like to warn the public that it has received a complaint regarding a scam involving iTunes vouchers being used again.

Scammers are contacting victims, usually elderly or vulnerable people, by telephone and asking them to make payments over the phone for various things, but in particular to pay the Inland Revenue in relation to unpaid fees and making demand for payment immediately.

 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 to clear the debt by purchasing iTunes Gift Cards from the nearest retailer (convenience store, electronics retailer, etc.). After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay the alleged outstanding debt by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.

HMRC would never make such a request, and any call of this nature is a scam. Fortunately, staff at a supermarket in Forfar noticed a member of the public attempting to buy hundreds of £s worth of these cards, asked them why, and alerted the local Police. This has saved the potential victim a very large sum of money.

iTunes Gift Cards can ONLY be used to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership.

If you are contacted by telephone and approached to use the cards for payment outwith the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Apple Music, you are very likely the target of a scam and should immediately report it to the Police.

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 Apple and cancel the cards.

For more advice on Keeping Safe and avoiding scammers please visit:   www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe

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