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Police Scotland Advice - Fraud Calls

posted 20 Feb 2017, 14:08 by Communications TEAM

Police Scotland have informed us of an increase in fraud calls lately. Please see below for more details of what's been reported and how to protect yourself.

Unfortunately, there has been a significant rise in frauds being committed throughout the Forth Valley area. The most common frauds are detailed below along with information on how to protect yourself and a link to action fraud which has some great information, advice and can be used to report frauds.

HMRC and Apple Gift Card Fraud

The fraudsters are using the following contact methods to defraud people:

Voicemails: Fraudsters are leaving victims automated voicemails stating they owe HMRC unpaid taxes. When victims call back on the number provided, they are told that there is a warrant out for their arrest, unless they make payment via iTunes Vouchers.

Spoofed calls: Fraudsters are cold calling victims using a spoofed 0300 200 3300 number and convincing them that they owe unpaid tax to HMRC.

Text messages: Fraudsters are sending text messages requesting victims to urgently call back on the number provided. When victims call back, they are told that there is a case being built against them for an outstanding debt and they must pay immediately.

Fraudsters are using iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and 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 to them.

Action Fraud has been working with Apple and HMRC to warn people about this type of fraud.

How to protect yourself

  • HMRC will never use text message to inform about a tax rebate or penalty.
  • HMRC will never ask for any payment in the form of iTunes Vouchers.
  • HMRC will only post out a P800 tax calculations, in circumstances of under or overpayment of taxes, if you’re employed or get a pension.
  • Payments using iTunes Vouchers may not be recoverable.
  • Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should not trust the number you see on your telephone display as proving the caller is genuinely calling from HMRC.
Be protective of divulging other personal details such as National Insurance number, passport number and bank details over the telephone.
If you receive an unexpected call, whereby the caller requests an advance fee in the form of iTunes gift cards, the call should immediately be terminated.