According to Action Fraud, fraudsters are now posing as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and tricking victims into paying taxes using iTunes gift cards.
Fraudsters are contacting victims using various methods of communication and asking for payment using iTunes gift card voucher codes. These voucher codes are then being sold on.
“[Gift cards] can be easily redeemed and easily sold on,” Action Fraud said. “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.”
The victims have been contacted in a couple of ways:
- Text messages: Messages are being sent that require the victims to urgently call on the number provided. They are then threatened that there is a case against them when they call the number, and that any outstanding debt is required to be paid immediately.
- Calls: Cold calls using 0300 200 3300 are being made demanding payment for unpaid tax. If unanswered, a voicemail is being left advising that a warrant is out in their name.
One taxpayer handed over gift card voucher codes worth £15,000 via a cold call, another gave 15 £100 gift card codes to a fraudster.
HMRC does not use text messages to inform taxpayers about a rebate of penalty, and never requests payments via gift card voucher codes.