Police Scotland have issued information on a new bogus phone scam, and have asked people to be vigilant.
As with face-to-face bogus caller and doorstep crime activity, 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 that the member of the public answering the call is “advised” by a fake caller that they have either underpaid or overpaid their various contributions over the years, and they are now required to reimburse the relevant Government Department, or – in the case of an overpayment – are required to pay an admin charge to have their cash returned to them via a bank transfer. In both instances, the victim is then “advised” of a specific method of payment: by way of store card vouchers or gift card vouchers, such as iTunes or similar.
The victim will thereafter attend at a relevant outlet which maybe specified by the caller (such as a supermarket, or a similar store) and purchase the card or voucher. In general, these vouchers can only be purchased in denominations of £50, and the victims are required to purchase a large number of vouchers.
The scammers will arrange to phone back to obtain the relevant validation or identifier number (which are evident on the rear of the card or voucher) from the victim once the voucher has been purchased. The scammer will now have control over the monetary value of the card or voucher.
Alternatively, contact Police Scotland by phone: 101 (the non-emergency number).