Police in Cumbria are urging the public to be vigilant of a telephone scam that requests victims purchase iTunes vouchers.
On 7th June, police received a report of concern for the welfare of a person who was buying iTunes vouchers to a high value in the Ulverston area. Enquires found that a woman, aged 71, had received a call requesting she purchase large amounts of iTunes vouchers in order to receive over £12,000 in PPI money. The victim had purchased £650 worth of vouchers.
O 5th June, a 63-year-old man visited Kendal Police Station to report that he had received a call from someone claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice who requested he purchase £150 worth of iTunes vouchers in order to receive £6,500 in PPI money.
This is a national scam that sees fraudsters target victims via call, voicemail or text message. They are often claiming to be from a government agency, such as HMRC or the Ministry of Justice, urging victims to purchase iTunes vouchers in order to then receive money owed to them. The victim then is asked to give the fraudsters the iTunes voucher code.
Detective Chief Inspector Helen Harkins said: “Unfortunately we keep seeing incidents of this nature, where fraudsters target members of the public and entice them by stating they are owed large amounts of money.
“If you get such an unexpected call, where you are asked to transfer money or hand over vouchers, terminate the call immediately and contact Action Fraud.
“We ask that any members of the public with elderly relatives and neighbours share the message with them. It is often the most vulnerable in our society that these criminals target, and we need to all ensure they are educated enough to be confident against these scammers.”
For further crime prevention advice on fraud visit https://www.cumbria.police.uk/Advice-Centre/Crime-Prevention/Fraud.aspx.
If you are a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999.
If you think that you have been the victim of a fraud and it is a non-emergency situation report this to the Cumbria Constabulary on 101 and to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or by visiting their website www.actionfraud.police.uk.
You can also sign up to their fraud alert service http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/support-and-prevention/sign-up-to-action-fraud-alert.