Trading Standards warns locals about new iTunes gift voucher scam

iTunes voucher

Residents have been warned to be on their guard against a scam sweeping the area.

The con involves fraudsters claiming to be from either HM Revenue and Customs, the police or Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) companies contacting residents and telling them they urgently need to make a payment to pay off a debt or claim a rebate.

The victims are asked to pay via iTunes gift vouchers, which they are urged to purchase before contacting the cold caller again.

The criminals tell the victim to call a phone number when they are in possession of the iTunes gift card and provide the 16-digit code on the voucher to the scammers. This allows the criminals to redeem the money on the voucher or sell on the codes in bulk to other criminal enterprises.

Some victims have been threatened with “arrest” if they do not comply.

The gift card values have ranged from £100 to more than £1,000.

A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council’s Trading Standards said: “The effect of scams on victims is huge, with many suffering from serious financial harm as a result.”

Trading Standards and the police are asking retailers to help combat the scammers.

The spokesman added: “If possible, where a large value of voucher is asked for, we’re asking shop staff to engage customers in conversation about the reason for their purchase.

“In particular, they should look out for elderly or vulnerable consumers, who may not be usual purchasers of those types of gift cards.”