Police Scotland have issued information on a new giftcard scam, where vulnerable adults and older people are being targeted.
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.
As part of this scam, members of the public have received phone calls from persons claiming to be from government departments, such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or similar type departments.
They are then “advised” by the caller that they have underpaid their contributions to the relevant department over the years, and they are now required to pay this back. Methods of payment requested are typically storecard or giftcard vouchers, such as iTunes or similar vouchers. The member of the public will then attend at a relevant outlet (generally a supermarket, as 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.
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 given this code, the scammer will now have control over the monetary value of the card or voucher.
Police Scotland has asked people to be vigilant about this, as with all other scams targeting vulnerable people.
For further information or advice on this matter, please contact Police Scotland by phone: 101 (the non-emergency number).