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Action Fraud warns of HMRC scam

Action Fraud warns of HMRC scam

Action Fraud has issued a warning that scammers claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs are contacting people.

They are tricking people into paying bogus debts and taxes using iTunes gift cards.

Victims are being contacted in a variety of ways by fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC and are being told they owe an outstanding debt.

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In most cases they ask for payment in iTunes gift card voucher codes.

A statement by Action Fraud said: “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 is reported as having been 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.

Action Fraud has said HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ask for a payment in this way.

It also said telephone numbers and text messages can be easily spoofed and should not be trusted.

damian.fantato@ft.com