Warning on iTunes phone scam after Dundee pensioner loses £900

A 72-year-old woman has been conned out of £900 through an iTunes phone scam.

Scammers are often deliberately targeting older people or those who are perceived to be more vulnerable

Police are warning people to be wary after a Dundee pensioner fell victim to a fraudster.

The woman received a phone call from someone claiming to represent HMRC, who threatened her with arrest for unpaid taxes if she did not make payments with iTunes vouchers.

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Police said the caller was quite aggressive and threatening in nature.

The fraudster convinced the victim she would go to prison immediately if she did not comply, which resulted in her being conned out of £900.

Officers said the scam follows a certain formula. The victim receives a phone call that instils panic and urges them to make a payment to clear the debt by purchasing iTunes gift cards from the nearest retailer.

After the victim has bought the cards, they are asked to pay the alleged outstanding debt by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.

A police spokesman said: “No genuine company or government department would ever make such a request and any call of this nature is a scam.

“Please, and we cannot stress this enough, do not ever be led to believe that you owe anyone money which can be paid through vouchers or gift cards.

“iTunes gift cards can only be used to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store or for an Apple Music membership.

“If you are contacted by telephone and approached to use the cards for payment outwith the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Apple Music, you are very likely the target of a scam and should immediately report it to the police.

“Please do not ever provide the numbers on the back of the card to someone you do not know. Once those numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will likely be spent before you are able to contact Apple and cancel the cards.”

Police have also urged anyone caring for someone who is vulnerable to try and keep track of any actions they take regarding this type of scam.