Police Scotland have recently become aware of another iTunes Scam along the same lines as previous incidents, where members of the public have been receiving phone calls from persons claiming to be from government departments such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or similar type departments.
As with other scams, the elderly and more vulnerable within the community may be at higher risk of this scam, due to concerns about possibly owing money to the Government.
The general scam is the victim is advised that they have underpaid their contributions to the relevant department over the years, and they now require to pay this back. The method of payment requested is by way of Store card vouchers or gift card vouchers such as ITunes or similar.
The member of the public will thereafter visit a relevant outlet (generally a supermarket identified by the caller) and purchase the cards or voucher. The caller can ask for payments up to thousands of pounds, and will advise the victim that failure to pay may result in them being arrested or taken to jail.
Typically, the scammers will arrange to phone back to obtain the relevant validation or identifier codes (which are displayed on the rear of the cards and vouchers) once the voucher has been purchased.
However, there has been a slight change on the most recent occasions, where the caller has been keeping the telephone lines open. In either case, once the code is given, the scammer will now have control over the monetary value of the card or voucher.
Police Scotland have asked people to continue to be vigilant about this, as with all other scams targeting vulnerable people, and to consider elderly or vulnerable family members when reading about this scam and advise them of its existence, encouraging them not to engage with any requests of this type.
They would also encourage people to feel to highlight this issue via any social media that they have access to.
For further information or advice on this matter, please contact Police Scotland by phone: 101 (the non-emergency number).