Residents in Gedling borough are being warned to stay vigilant in the face of a new wave of fraudulent phone calls and emails claiming to be from HMRC.
The government’s cybercrime agency Action Fraud UK has issued the warning after elderly and vulnerable residents were targeted by fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC and are being told they owe an outstanding debt. In most cases they ask for payment in iTunes gift card voucher codes.
Fraudsters like iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and easily sold on. The 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.
One 87 year old victim recently said he was phoned by fraudsters who claimed to be from HMRC stating there was an arrest warrant out in his name.
They told him it would be cancelled if he bought £500 in iTunes gift cards at Tesco.
The man bought the cards and gave them the serial numbers. But when they asked for a further £1,300 in vouchers, he became suspicious and hung up.
A spokesman for Action Fraud said: “HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment in this way.
“Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephones display. If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.